Fairies Around the World
A Global Compilation of Fey Creatures
An accompaniment to the 2010 Sirens Conference panel “Are There Faeries Outside Western Europe? Exploring Fey Folklore from Around the World,” consisting of Shveta Thakrar, Valerie Frankel, Andrea Horbinski, and Cindy Pon.
(Please note, this is not intended as an exhaustive list but rather as a starting point for your own research.)
Ancestor spirits from many cultures
Bwca: Welsh brownies
Chin Chin Kobakama: Japanese elderly helpers
Duende: Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and Latin America
Huacas - Incan stone sprits who watched over fields
Kachina: Pueblo ancestor spirits
Menehune: Hawaiian helper spirits
Polevik: Polish goat spirit who helps with the harvest
Tiki: South Pacific house spirit carving
Zashiki-warashi: Japanese yōkai, childlike helper
Aswang: Filipino ghoul who leaves behind plant-matter duplicates of its victims
Changeling: Europe and Britain
Ogbanje: Nigerian “child who comes and goes”
Alan: Filipino deformed spirits with backward fingers and toes
Asuras: South Asian “non-gods” or enemies to the gods—demons, giants, and goblins
Chullachaqui: Brazilian shape-shifting demon
Djinni: Arabic Muslim creature of smokeless flame
Kappa: Japanese malicious water demon
Nucklavee: Brutal Scottish water creature
Oni: Japanese ogre
Pombero: Argentinian hairy troublemaker
Popobawa: Tanzanian shape-shifting demon
Rakshasa: South Asian shape-shifting, flesh-eating night prowler
Shedim: Jewish demons, descendents of Lilith
Yaksha: Hindu/Buddhist cannibalistic ogre, ghost or demon
Doppelgängers and Totems
Fyglia personal animal spirit, a totem and guardian
Ka: Egyptian “spirit double” with identical feelings and memories
Nahua: Mayan personal-animal spirit
Abatwa - Ant-sized benevolent spirits of Southern Africa
Las Anjanas: Cantabrian animal-human blends
Aziza: “near to God”; West African protectors of hunters
Bokwus Fearsome spirit in the great northwestern
American spruce forests.
Diwata, Anito, or Lambana: Filipino tree spirits
Duwende: Filipino playful hobgoblin who only reveals himself to children
Huldafolk: reclusive Scandinavian faeriefolk
Jogah: Iroquois small spirit folk: Gahonga are the jogah of rocks and rivers, the
Gandayah make the earth fertile
Menehune: Hawaiian tiny hidden craftspeople
Nagumwa-suck and Mekumwasuck: helpful Little People among the Passamaquoddy Indians
Ngen: Mapuche Chilean nature spirits
Nunehee: Cherokee forest elves
Orang Bunian: Malay invisible forest spirits
Sidhe, Sith, or Si (shee) - The Gaelic (Irish or Scottish) name for fairie
Ton Mai: Thai tree spirits
Yumboes: benevolent Senegalese fairyfolk
Apsara: South Asian Hindu and Buddhist celestial dancer
Dakini: South Asian Buddhist feminine sky messenger (adopted into Tibetan mythology)
Garuda: South Asian Hindu and Buddhist birdlike creature, consort of the apsara
Pani: South Asian aerial demon, inspirer of foolishness and neglect
Peri: Persian winged benevolent spirit
Tien: Vietnamese angels
Ohdows: They live underground with the Iroqouis and prevent earthquakes.
Tukonee: Australian tiny cave-dwelling helpers
Ahuizotl: Aztec a dog-like creature that drowned the unwary.
Camenae Roman goddesses of springs, wells and fountains
Encantado: Portuguese dolphin shape-shifter
Gwragedd Annwn: Welsh alluring lake maidens
Jengu: Cameroon luck-giving mermaids
Kul: Eskimo water spirit that helps with fishing
Merrows: benelovent Irish merfolk
Nagas/Naginis: South Asian serpentine shape-shifters; fond of water and precious metals
Oennes: Ancient Chaldean fish-gods
Phi Thale: Thai sea spirit
Qalupalik: Alaskan sea people who steal disobedient children
Selkies: Scottish seal-people
Sirena and Siyokoy: Phillippines
Tokolosh: South African baboon-shaped river spirit who frightens travelers
Vodyanoy: Slavic male water spirit
Aumakua: Sandwich Islands helpful succubus
Ciguapa: Dominican seductive tricksters with backward feet
Deer Woman: Midwestern U.S. forest succubus
Glaistig: watery woman who hides her goat attributes
Iara: Brazilian fish woman with a blowhole
La Llorona: Mexican slayer of children
Mogwai: Harmful Chinese spiritsd
Patupaiarehe: Māori pale ethereal seducers
Qarînah: Arabic invisible succubus
Trauco: Chilean tiny forest goblin and irresistibly seductive satyr
Wilis: Slavic spirits of betrothed girls who die before their wedding night
Xana: Spanish seductress
Will o' the wisp
Mulla: Sumerian will o’ the wisp
Red caps: British killers in the swamps
Feufollet: Cajun/Bayou fairies from the 1920s
Coyote: Plains Indian cultural hero and trickster
Caipora: Brazilian fox-headed forest spirit
Kushtaka: Alaskan “land otter man,” shape-shifting otter men
Pukwudgie: Wampanoag (Native American) short troll with enlarged nose, fingers,
Saci: Brazilian shape-shifter
Adlivun: Inuit underworld spirits
Angiaks - dead children of Eskimo lore
Ankou - the British faerie grim reaper.
Asanbosam: West African tree-dwelling child-dwellers
Bhoot: South Asian ghost able to assume forms of animals and people
Cihuateteo: Aztec skeletal-faced spirits who died in childbirth
Corrigan: Cruel forest spirit of Brittany
Dybbuk: Jewish possessing ghost
Jiāngshī: Chinese reanimated corpses
Patasola: South American “one foot” blood-drinking succubus
Ramanga: Madagascar living vampires
Sigbin: Filipino bloodsucking night-dwellers
Sluagh: Highland Scots vengeful dead or fallen angels
Tlahuelpuchi: Mexican bloodsucking shape-shifter
Tokoloshe: Zulu zombie created by vengeful shamans
Vetala: South Asian ghoul-like being that inhabits corpses
Banshee: British, she wails to warn of death
Ekimmu: Assyrian, their wailing foretold death
Virikas: these creatures gibbered outside homes of those soon to die
Assorted Otherworld/Bright Court spirits
Bediadari: Malaysian “good people”
protectors who attract good fortune.
Muan: South and Central American souls of the dead and ancestor spirits
Pillan: Chilean good spirits who live in Wenumapu, the Bright Court, or in volcanoes
White Ladies: French/German healing spirits
Tuurngaq: Alaskan incorporeal “helping spirit” that aids or possesses people
Yakshas/Yakshinis: Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain treasure guardians/nature spirits
Yōkai: Japanese supernatural beings (kitsune, oni, and many others are subtypes)
1. Michael Ashkenazy, Handbook of Japanese Mythology. USA: ABC-Clio, 2003.
2. N. N. Bhattacharyya, Indian Demonology: The Inverted Pantheon. India: Manohar, 2002.
3. Leo Tak-Hung Chan, The Discourse on Foxes and Ghosts: Ji Yun and Eighteenth-Century Literati Storytelling. USA: University of Hawaii Press, 1998.
4. Daniel Cohen, The Encyclopedia of Monsters. USA: Avon Books, 1991.
5. Bob Curran, Encyclopedia of the Undead. USA: Career Press, 2006.
6. Anna L. Dallapiccola, Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend. USA: Thames & Hudson, 2002.
7. George M. Eberhart, Mysterious Creatures. USA: ABC-CLIO, 2002.
8. Donald A. Mackenzie, “Chapter IV: Demons and Giants and Fairies.” Indian Myth
and Legend. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/iml/iml09.htm.
9. Pu Song Ling, Strange Tales of Liaozhai. http://academia.issendai.com/fox-chinese.shtml.
10. Chris McNab, Mythological Monsters. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2007.
11. John E. Roth, American Elves: An Encyclopedia of Little People from the Lore of 380 Ethnic Groups of the Western Hemisphere. USA: McFarland, 1997.
12. Richard E. Strassberg, A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas. USA: University of California Press, 2002.
13. Thomas G. Thrum, “Chapter X: Hawaii: The Original Home of the Brownies,” Stories of the Menehunes. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/hft/hft13.htm.
14. J. Vogel, Indian Serpent Lore or The Nagas in Hindu Legend and Art. USA: Kessinger Publishing, 2005.
15. Shveta Thakrar, "In Search of Apsaras" http://www.cabinetdesfees.com/2010/in-search-of-apsaras-by-shveta-thakrar/
1. eFairies.com: Fairy Lore (a listing of fey from all over the world): http://www.efairies.com/fairy_lore.htm.
2. The Internet Sacred Text Archive (has all the world’s holy books and many tale collections): http://sacred-texts.com.
3. List of Legendary Creatures (from Wikipedia): www.eons.com/uploads/8/4/84540104_List_of%20legendary%20creature-clean.doc
3. Marie Brennan’s List of Multicultural Fantasy Novelizations: http://www.swantower.com/marie/misc/settings.html.
5. Nin Harris, “The Myths, Folklore and Legends of South East Asia: An Annotated List.” http://www.cabinetdesfees.com/2010/the-myths-folklore-and-legends-of-south-east-asia-an-annotated-list/.
4. Sur La Lune Fairy Tales (online fairy tale collections from all over the world): http://surlalunefairytales.com.
Shveta Thakrar: http://shvetufae.livejournal.com
Valerie Frankel: http://vefrankel.com
Andrea Horbinski: http://ahorbinski.dreamwidth.org
Cindy Pon: http://www.cindypon.com