Often, when people think of fairies their minds turn to the mythology of the British Isles (and often a generic version at that). But we can easily move past the fey and their courts. For this trip in world mythology and folklore, I think we’ll start in the Americas.
The Inuits of North America have the Ishigaq. They are a race of tiny people, only about a foot tall. When they walk across the now, they don’t leave a single footprint behind. In Bolivia is the story of the Acalica. These little fairies control the rain, frost, and hail. They are rarely seen as they live in deep, underground caves but when they are they appear as little old men.
Elsewhere in South America there are folktales featuring the Bakru. (I find these absolutely fascinating!) They’re made by wizards and look like little half wooden children. A person can actually purchase them by the pair, but it’s not worth it. They’re so troublesome that only a powerful wizard can control them.
Now in Asia, specifically Japan, the wee people are called the Chin Chin Kobakama. They’re playful, but harmless. In Malaysia they are the Bediardari, or “Good Folk.” Both of these are much like the fey of British lore.
Out in Melanesia are Bariaua. They live in ancient trees deep within the forest. If one day you find your canoe missing, the bariaua is probably to blame.
Persia has a very primordial version of fairy that predates Islamic and even Zoroastrian beliefs. They are they Peri, being of the forests and rivers. Like many magical races they can either be a help to humans or a hindrance.
I have many more fairies to talk about, but that will have to wait until tomorrow or else this post will be massive. We’ll finish up with Africa and even take a brief stop in Europe. Hope to see you there!