Tylwyth Teg

Welsh: 'the Fair Folk'

Tylwyth Teg is a common Welsh euphemism for fairies. Sometimes called "Bendith y Mamau" which means "Blessing of the Mothers". In many accounts, their king is said to be Gwyn ap Nudd. They are associated with a number of places in Wales, including the lake called Llyn y Fan Fach.

Calling fairies by a favorable name was hoped to avert kidnapping in which the fairies would typically leave a sickly changeling child in the place of the healthy child they had stolen.

These fairies were described as fair-haired and as loving golden hair. They were said to covet mortal children with similar hair. They are usually portrayed as benevolent but capable of mischief. They are neither entirely good or completely evil, unlike the Seelie and Unseelie. In their benevolent capacity, they might, for example, reward a woman who kept a tidy house with gifts of silver.

The Tylwyth Teg are said to fear iron and unbaptized children could supposedly be protected from them by placing a poker over their cradle.

One example of the Tylwyth was the Jili Ffrwtan, female fairies who were of a proud and amorous disposition. A common belief was that the Tylwyth Teg had Fairy paths upon which it was death for a mortal to walk.

See also
Fairies - Content | Myths and Legends