Sunday, July 27, 2014

Florida Dogwood Little People

The flowering Florida dogwood (Cornus florida) brings bright white sepals/bracts to the fields, lasting for two to three weeks. It isn't actually the white petals that constitute the bloom, but the tiny yellow flowers in the center, almost unseen. Dogwood season in America always starts in Florida and works its way up north.

The Cherokee have a legend that "The Little People" - also known as Yunwi Tsunsdi - a miniscule race, believed by many to be absolutely real, live among the Florida dogwood trees. The Yunwi Tsunsdi are miniature beings described in ancient Cherokee lore as sometimes being spirits and sometimes being diminutive humanoids about two feet tall. According to the legends, these beings may have different types of appearances and may be of three or four different types. Descriptions of them range from kindly but mischievous to somewhat more malicious tricksters. They reportedly have the power to confuse humans' minds, and to turn invisible at will.

Perhaps this is one of those.

I also find it interesting that my own Irish ancestors who came to America had "little people" legends of their own - the Leprechaun, the Clurichaun, and the Faerie. Not to mention Sprites, Hobs, Korrigans, Pixies, Elves, Imps, Brownies, Goblins, Gremlins, Boggarts, and Lubber Fiends.

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