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Thread: Tolkien's races, who in our history were they derived from?

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Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Lord of the Rings > Tolkien's races, who in our history were they derived from?   << [1] [2]
I feel that the banks of the Anduin was a bit of of a sojourning place for hobbits before they went to The Shire. So did they in fact come from even further east before that? Was that the Far East? Brownish skin? Middle-eastern? Why not? India? Egypt? Deeper into Africa even? Pygmies? Oh my gosh...! Have I stumbled on the answer to hobbit origin? :shock:
[quote="Odo Banks":1b6d895b]So did they in fact come from even further east before that?[/quote:1b6d895b]

Probably; only the Dwarves were in lands that far west before the great migrations. Humans and Elves alike both originated far to the east, and I suspect Hobbits did as well.

[quote:1b6d895b]Was that the Far East? Brownish skin? Middle-eastern? Why not?[/quote:1b6d895b]

Quite possibly. It is plausible that many of the original humans were dark-skinned.

[quote:1b6d895b]India? Egypt? Deeper into Africa even?[/quote:1b6d895b]

I think that would be too far south and not far enough east.
As a typical pale, white northerner I had always taken references to Sam's hands being brown, or any other hobbit for that matter, as it being more a permanent tan- as farmers and shepherds get who are out in the countryside and the elements all the time. Sam being a gardener would fall into this category. However I see no reason for the references to brown skinned hobbits not being some nod to an earlier time in their existence when they were dark skinned in some mysterious eastern prehistory.
Just out of curiousity if anyone has the maps to hand (and an atlas), if Hobbiton is at the latitude of Oxford, where would that put Southern Mirkwood and the Gladden Fields?
[quote="pettytyrant101":k4llzvh4]Just out of curiousity if anyone has the maps to hand (and an atlas), if Hobbiton is at the latitude of Oxford, where would that put Southern Mirkwood and the Gladden Fields?[/quote:k4llzvh4]

About 100 miles south, by my [i:k4llzvh4]very[/i:k4llzvh4] rough estimate (my good copy of LotR, with foldout maps, is at home). I think that's the equivalent of northern France or south/central Germany.
I always tended to lean towards your view Petty, about browner Hobbits being tanned. But I am very open to other possibilities.

[b:1wahc8kl]GB[/b:1wahc8kl]
Think about this clearly lads.

Tolkien lived in South Africa as a child. So he would have known all about Pygmies!!! :o And so, like all children, would have [i:11rcd2fw]adored [/i:11rcd2fw]them for their compactness, and their nobleness; their trustworthiness and their ability to survive in difficult situations.

Hear me out! [i:11rcd2fw]Hear me out! [/i:11rcd2fw] :x

Now, as you'll all be aware, the Pygmies of central Africa fought a long Jungle War against the Gorilla King and his Longarm Tribe, around Lake Victoria, and did so successfully for ever so long a time, indeed, right up until the evil Gorilla King began to use Oliphaunts as primitive tanks. Three tribes (defeated unfairly in the end, Gorillas are cheats in warfare, as I know from my studies of Primeval African History) fled north after that; then west until they reached the Anduin, where they settled into their new life in a milder environment.

Obviously in time, with the milder climate and all (which made their skin tone less dark) and with the contact with Western (Anglo-Saxon) Man, they became very English-like. Remember, we're talking about the First Age here, which went on for time immmorial, plenty of time for those particular Pygmies to become Hobbits by the beginning of the Third Age. Their DNA, unsurprisingly, prevented them from growing in stature, for Old Winyard and seedcakes only make you wider, not taller (as we middle-aged forumers only know too well!)

They took up habitation in holes in mounds (a fact no one can dispute) to hide from Oliphaunts.

Yes, no doubt some of you will be thinking my theory on Hobbit Derivation somewhat far fetched. Aha! But [i:11rcd2fw][b:11rcd2fw]all [/b:11rcd2fw][/i:11rcd2fw]great scientists have had to step outside the square with their thinking.

Anyhow, if I have not convinced you, pleeease make your responses at least [i:11rcd2fw]reasoned[/i:11rcd2fw] responses! (I've had enough of all the recent silliness, frankly!)

:ugeek:
There are several ways to look at this Odo. One is that Tolkien meant them to represent the English Country Agrarians, "White" folk with tans, end of story.

Then there is Tolkien's Creation Cosmology wherein the Hobbits, Elves, and Man, are three "Races" of Humans "awakened" at various times and places. In this case, there is no canon indication that they are at all related to African Pygmies, excepting insofar as they are all Humans.

But then we come to Tolkien's conception of his Mythos as being an alternate Myth that fit into our Empirical Universe in which Evolution is the Modus Operandi. Leaving aside your own mythology of fighting the Gorilla King (echoes of the Pan-Asian myth of the Gods fighting the Monkey God/King), your linking of Hobbits to Pygmy Humans is eminently sensible. And there has even been some noise and controversy regarding the recent discovery of ancient Hobbit sized hominids on the island of Flores in Indonesia, which you have no doubt heard of.

[b:21sp2no3]GB[/b:21sp2no3]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":17x85ysa]And there has even been some noise and controversy regarding the recent discovery of ancient Hobbit sized hominids on the island of Flores in Indonesia, which you have no doubt heard of.[/quote:17x85ysa]

I find the purported connections between [i:17x85ysa]Homo floresiensis[/i:17x85ysa] and Tolkien's Hobbits to be rather silly. The real-life species was nicknamed Hobbits as a joke or tribute (sort of like Lucy). Tolkien did not and could not have known of them since the fossils weren't discovered till after his death.
I don't think I suggested that Tolkien was aware of the "Hobbit" discovery <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Nor did I imply that the Pygmy Hominids were Hobbits. I was merely pointing out that the evolutionary model Odo suggested could have some merit.

[b:1jnrdw5q]GB[/b:1jnrdw5q]
Mmm.... Perhaps the hobbits began to migrate back to the jungles of Africa and Indonesia, their ancestral homes, as a response to the Dominion of Man. :geek:
I know that GB, I was just taking the opportuniy to comment on the matter. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

regarding the Dwarves:  I hadnt considered it until i read in this Wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_(Middle-earth)

Look for the subsection : The Later Silmarillion and last writings 

 

In the last interview before his death, Tolkien, after discussing the nature of Elves, briefly says of his Dwarves: "The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn't you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic. 

 

that the history of the  Dwarves were based on the Jews.  It seems quite logical, they were hard working, industirious people that mostly mind their own business.  They are also looked down upon by most all the other races, and are frequently persecuted and disposessed.  They are driven from almost all their major homes, Belegost, Khaza-Dum, Nagrod, The Lonely Mountain, see also, Mim the petty dwarf.

mmmmmmmm  I remember a discussion like this going to a very bad place on a Star Trek site discussing humanoid races and Earth races...  It got very ugly and I'm sure it wouldn't here.

Very interesting regarding the Dwarves, I think though that the whole races thing is a bit silly when we as men in Tolkien's world are still men, who have simply diversified after The Changing Of The World.

For me, men are men as we are now.

Elves are the spirits of Nature: rivers, mountains, storm, light, etc.

Dwarves are ancient men, that's to say: troglodytes more or less. I say this because they are very strong and never stop to think things just do them!

Hobbits are the most innocent part of every man: children. The famous "Peter Pan" who lives inside of every adult.

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