Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Aries 16: Brownies dancing in the setting sun

The brownies here are the fairies

d e s c r i b e d i n t he f o l k l o r e o f S c o t l a n d a n d E n g l a n d 1, a s w e l l a s c o n t e m p o ra r y p o p u l a r culture in North Americ a.2 According to t r a d i t i on :


Customarily brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. However, they don't like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. They take quite a delight in porridge and honey. They usually abandon the house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Brownies make their homes in an unused part of the house. (Some have) a peculiar fondness for solitude at certain seasons of the year. About the end of the harvest (they become) more sociable and hover about farmyards, stables, and cattle-houses Every manor house had its (brownie), and in the kitchen, close by the fire was a seat, which was left unoccupied for him.3

T h e a d j e c t i v e b r ow n d e s c e n d s f r om t h e I n d o - E u r op e a n ( I E ) r o ot b h e r - 2 w h i c h me a n s b r i g h t , b r o wn . I t s p a r o n y m s i n c l u d e be r s e r k , b r u in , b u r n e t , bu r n i s h a n d b e a r ( t h e a n i m a l ). 4 T h e v e r b d a n c e d e s c e n d s f r o m t he O ld F r e n c h d a n s e r . 5 T h e a d j e c t i v e s et t i n g d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e r o o t s e d - w hi c h m e a n s t o s i t . I t s p a r on y m s i n c l u d e a s se s s , be s e t , ca t he d r a l , n e s t , n i c h e , o b s e s s , p o s s e s s , r e s i d e , s a dd l e , se a t , s e d i me n t , s e s s i o n , se t , s e t t l e , s i e g e , se w e r , s i t , s o i l , s o o t , su b s i d y , a n d s u p e r s e d e . 6 F i n a l l y , t he n o u n su n d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I E r o o t sa e w e l - w h i c h m e a n s t h e s u n . 7 A m o n g i t s p a r o n y m s a r e h e l i u m , so l a r , so l st i c e , a n d so u t h . THEMES: T h e m o s t o b v i o u s c on n e c t i on among these roots and d e r i v a t i v e s c on c e r n s t h e b e h a vi o r s a n d e n v i r o n s of t h e s e f o l k l o r i c b r o w n i e s . O n e o f t h e p a r o n y m s o f b r o w n i e s i s o b vi o u s l y t h e c o l or


1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_(folklore) 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_(folklore)#Modern_culture 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_(folklore)#Tradition 4 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 10 5 http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/dance 6 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, pp. 73 -4 7 Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 72 Starling Hunter 2011 1

b r o w n . T h e k e y w o r d s e t t i n g i n c l u d e s a m o n g i t s p a r o n ym s t h e w o r d s s o i l a n d s o o t a n d p os s i b l y m a n u r e a ll t h i n g s t y p i ca l o f t h e b a r n y a r d s, s t a b le s, a n d c a t t l e h o u s e s t h a t t h e br o w n i e s l i k e t o f r e q u e n t . S e c on d l y , f o l k l o r e a l s o c l a i m s t h a t b r ow n i e s a s s i st i n t he w or k o f h o u s e s a n d m a n o r s a n d t h a t a s e a t c o u l d o f t e n b e f o u n d f o r t h e m n e a r t h e fi r e i n t he k i t c h e n . N o t a b l y, b o t h t he w o r d r e s i d e n c e a n d s e a t a r e p a r on y m s o f setting. F i n a l l y , r e ca l l t h e d a i l y a n d s e a s o n a l a s p e ct s o f b r ow n i e s w o r k a n d s o c i a l i zi n g . W e a re t o l d t h a t t h e y p r e f e r t o w o r k a t n i g h t , h a v e a f o n d n e s s f o r so l i t u d e a t c e rt a i n t i m e s o f t he y e a r, a n d b e c o me m o re s o c i a b l e a f t e r t h e h a r v e s t s e a s o n . A l l o f t h e s e b e ha v i or s o r p r e f e r e n c e s c a n b e r e l a t e d t o t h e m o v e m e n t o f t he s u n . S p e ci f i c a l l y, o v e r t h e c o u r s e o f t h e d a y , b r o w ni e s p r e f e r w o r k i n g a t n i g ht a n d a r e t h u s n o c t u r n a l. O v e r t h e c o u r se o f a y e a r t h e y b e c o m e m o r e a ct i v e a n d so c i a b le w h e n t he d a y s t h e m s e l v e s a r e s h o r t e r . T hi s s ug g e s t s t h a t b r o w n i e s a r e a e s t i v a t e , i . e . t h a t t he y p a s s t h e s u m m e r , w h e n d a y s a r e l on g e r , i n a d o r m a n t o r t o r p i d st a t e . 8 G i v e n t h e i r f on d n e ss f or t h e d a r k h a l f o f t h e d a y a n d t h e l o n g n i g h t s o f w i n t e r , i t i s n o s u r p r i se t h a t t he b r ow n i e s i n t h i s s y m b o l a r e d a n c i n g a s t he s u n i s s et t i n g . T ha t i s w h e n t h e s ha d o w s a r e l o n g a n d d a r k n e s s a p p r o a c he s .

8 http://education.yahoo.com /reference/dictionary/entry/estivate Starling Hunter 2011 2