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Aaron Edgeley

The Indian Fairy Tradition

When people talk about the religions of India, they most often think of Hinduism, a catch all term for the pagan religions of the subcontinent which are host to a myriad of deities such as Ganesh, Kali, Shiva and Lakshmi. These are the gods and goddesses that Hindus have brought with them as they have ventured to new countries and cultures, and these are the ones the westerners are familiar with. However, there is another side to Indian religion, one that is almost completely unknown outside of India, and indeed, almost forgotten among India’s new urban generation. Just as in Europe we have a tradition of Dryads, Nymphs, Fairies and Goblins, there are ‘Little folk’ who also inhabit the wilder more rural areas of Asia. Using my own experience within South India I present an introduction these long overlooked beings and the traditions that surround them.