Native Americans claim the Pryor Mountains are home to the mysterious (hobbit-like) little people!

Little people’s strange stories have been told in various cultures throughout history, including in Ireland, New Zealand, and Native America. How much truth is hidden in these stories? How much do we know who we are?
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The belief in the existence of ‘little people’ is not confined to a certain region of the world. We hear intriguing stories of enigmatic small people who have lived among us on all continents for as long as anybody can remember.

Little people
The Little People’s Market, Arthur Rackham’s Book of Pictures (1913). © Image Credit: National Library of France

These ‘little people’ are typically deceivers, and they can be aggressive when confronted with people. They may, however, serve as guides and assist people in finding their way through life. Often described as “hairy-faced dwarfs” in stories, petroglyph illustrations show them with horns on their head and traveling in a group of 5 to 7 per canoe.

Most Native American tribes have interesting legends about a mysterious race known as the ‘little people’. These little creatures frequently live in woodlands, mountains, sandy hills and sometimes near rocks located along large bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes. Specially in locations where humans cannot find them.

According to mythology, these ‘little people’ are incredibly little beings ranging in size from 20 inches to three feet tall. Some Native tribes referred to them as “little people eaters,” while others thought they were healers, spirits, or legendary entities akin to fairies and leprechauns.

A leprechaun is a little magical entity in Irish folklore, classified as a sort of lonely fairy by others. They are typically represented as little bearded men dressed in a coat and cap who engage in mischief.

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Native American “Little People” from Stories the Iroquois Tell Their Children by Mabel Powers, 1917. © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The tradition of ‘little people’ was widely known among the Native people, long before the European settlers came to North America. According to the Shoshone Indians of Wyoming, the Nimerigar were violent tiny people who should be avoided owing to their hostile disposition.

One popular idea is that the small people create distractions in order to cause mischief. Some considered them to be gods. One Native American tribe in North America thought that they resided in neighboring caverns. The caves were never entered for fear of disturbing the little people.

The Cherokee remember the Yunwi-Tsunsdi, a race of Little People who are generally invisible but occasionally appear to people. The Yunwi-Tsunsdi are thought to have magical abilities, and they may either assist or harm people depending on how we treat them.

The Catawba Indians of South Carolina have myths about the spirit realm that reflect their own indigenous traditions as well as Christianity. The Catawba Indians believe that the Yehasuri (“wild tiny people”) reside in the forests.

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Yehasuri — wild tiny people. © Image Credit: DIBAAJIMOWIN

Stories within stories The story of the Pukwudgies, grey-faced humanoid beings with enormous ears, is repeated all across the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and the Great Lakes region.

The Crow Indians claim that the ‘little people’ race lives in the Pryor Mountains, a mountain area in Montana’s Carbon and Big Horn counties. The Pryor Mountains are located on the Crow Indian Reservation, and the Natives claim that the ‘little people’ carved the petroglyphs discovered on the mountains’ rocks.

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Looking at the Pryor Mountains from Deaver, Wyoming. © Image Credit: Betty Jo Tindle

Other Native American tribes believe the Pryor Mountains are home to the ‘little people’ as well. The Lewis and Clark Expedition reported sightings of small little creatures along the Indians’ White Stone River (the present Vermillion River) in 1804.

“This river is approximately 30 yards wide and runs across a plain or grassland it’s whole course,” Lewis noted in his diary. A large hill with a conic shape is located in an enormous plain to the north of the mouth of this stream.

According to the many Indian tribes, this area is said to be the home of devils. They have human-like bodies, big heads, and stand approximately 18 inches tall. They are alert and equipped with sharp arrows that can kill from a long distance.

It is believed that they will murder anyone who dares to approach the hill. They claim that tradition tells them that these tiny people have harmed many Indians. Not long years ago, three Omaha men, among others, were sacrificed to their ruthless wrath. Some Indians believe the Spirit Mound is also home to the Little People, a race of small creatures that refuse to let anyone approach the mound.

The ‘little people’ are holy to the Crow Indians, and they are credited with creating their tribe’s fate. The Crow tribe depicts the ‘little people’ as tiny demon-like entities capable of murdering both animals and people.

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Crow Indians. © Image Credit: Americanindian

The Crow tribe, on the other hand, claims that the little individuals can occasionally be comparable to spirit dwarves and that when this happens, they can bestow blessings or spiritual instruction on chosen people. The ‘little people’ are sacred creatures who are linked to the Crow ritual of the Sun Dance, an important religious rite of North American Plains Indians.

Legends of tiny people’s physical remains being discovered in various locations in the western United States, particularly Montana and Wyoming, typically describe the remains as being discovered in caves, with various details such as descriptions that they were “perfectly formed,” dwarf-size, and so on.

“The graves, of course, are usually taken to a local institution or the Smithsonian for study, only to have both the specimens and research conclusions disappear,” archeologist Lawrence L. Loendorf notes.

The ‘little people’, whether hostile or helpful and friendly, conspicuous or seldom seen, always left an effect on humanity, and many people are still sure these elusive little entities exist in the real world. If we look at it on a historical and scientific basis, how true can it be? Is it really possible that they coexist(ed) with us?

If we ever try to find out the accepted way (historically and scientifically) for the existence of hobbits, we could stumble upon one such a great discovery in an isolated Indonesian island.

A few years ago, scientists announced that they had discovered a new species of little human who may have interacted with the ancestors of modern humans. According to their research and findings, the diminutive beings dwelled on the Indonesian island of Flores nearly 60,000 years ago, alongside komodo dragons, pygmy stegodons and real-life rodents of unusual size.

Skull of H. floresiensis (Flores Man), nicknamed 'Hobbit', is a species of small archaic human that inhabited the island of Flores, Indonesia. © Image Credit: Dmitriy Moroz | Licensed from (Editorial/Commercial Use Stock Photo, ID: 227004112)
Skull of H. floresiensis (Flores Man), nicknamed ‘Hobbit’, is a species of small archaic human that inhabited the island of Flores, Indonesia. © Image Credit: Dmitriy Moroz | Licensed from (Editorial/Commercial Use Stock Photo, ID: 227004112)

The now-extinct humans — known scientifically as Homo floresiensis, and popularly as the hobbits — stood less than 4 feet tall, with brains one third the size of living people. Yet, they made stone tools, butchered meat and somehow crossed miles of ocean to colonize their tropical home.

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The Liang Bua cave in Indonesia where H. floresiensis bones were first discovered. © Image Credit: Rosino

The discovery astonished anthropologists worldwide — and called for immediate revision of the standard account of human evolution. Over the years, we’ve learned more about the species’ appearance, habits and time on Earth. But the hobbits’ origin and fate still remain a mystery.

There are a number of sites on the Flores island where researchers found the evidence of H. floresiensis’ existence. However, so far only bones from the Liang Bua site are indisputably attributed to H. floresiensis.

In 2016, researchers discovered hobbit-like fossils at the Mata Menge site, about 45 miles from Liang Bua. The finds included stone tools, a lower-jaw fragment and six tiny teeth, dated to approximately 700,000 years ago — substantially older than the Liang Bua fossils.

Although the Mata Menge remains are too scanty to definitively assign them to the extinct hobbit (H. floresiensis) species, most anthropologists consider them hobbits.

At a third Flores site, researchers uncovered 1 million-year-old stone tools, such as those from Liang Bua and Mata Menge sites, but no human fossils were discovered there. If these artifacts were created by H. floresiensis or its ancestors, then the hobbit lineage inhabited Flores at least 50,000 to 1 million years ago, according to the evidence. In comparison, our species has only been around for about half a million years.

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