Free the Gnomes
In recent years attempts have been made by a group known as the ' Garden Gnome Liberation Front' to free garden gnomes from the oppression of having to stand for hours on end without pay or insurance. This group operates mainly in the European countries stealing or liberating garden gnomes under the cover of darkness.
In July of 2001, a gathering of garden gnomes were arranged by the group on a roundabout in eastern France. Police estimated that more than one hundred gnomes were involved in the gathering, some of them spelling out the words, ' the Gnomes.' It was reported that many of the gnomes had been freed from lawns and gardens in the town of Chavelot the night before. A police spokesman stated that, " was a bit like a giant crèche. Everything had been carefully set up." Meaning that the gnomes appeared to be arranged in something of a nativity scene.
The group first gained attention in the early nineties for their advocating of returning gnomes to the wild. And the group appeared to have been hampered by the conviction of their ringleader in 1997 for his part in the freeing of over one hundred and fifty gnomes, but they came back in 1998 with the staged suicide of eleven gnomes in Eastern France. The gnomes supposedly left a message bearing the words, ' you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration." While in the year 2000 the group liberated twenty gnomes in the night at a Paris garden show.
In the past few years the group has appeared to be relatively dormant with little to none gnome disappearances. Families are loosing their fear and beginning to place garden gnomes back in more unprotected areas of the yard. The Garden Gnome Liberation Front may one day come out of hibernation and go on the prowl for a gnome near you.
Garden Gnomes: Superheros?
Many don't often think about them in this manner but the gnome may possibly be considered a super hero. Or are they just supernatural? The gnome is an earthy character who lives in tune with nature and has a complete birth, life and death cycle, so its hard to imagine them as supernatural beings. But they do have powers that are beyond humans and they often use these powers to aid humans and nature in some way.
For instance it is well known that the gnome watches over animals, whether they be wild or domestic and will tend to a wounded animal that they come across or even hear about from other animals. Yes the gnome can talk to animals, too.
The garden gnome is also seven times stronger than a man despite their small size and even though they are stronger than man they are benign and only use their strength for the good of others. But this doesn't exclude them from using their strength against man. There is one story about a farmer dealing with an uncooperative horse by hitting the horse a couple of times and immediately being slapped hard enough to be knocked over. He never saw what hit him but he knew that it was a gnome. Gnomes could be the first animal rights activists.
Also a gnome is invisible or able to camouflage so well as to appear invisible. Only children and animals are said to be able to see a gnome. While some adults claim to see something out of the corner of their eye, they often only know of a garden gnomes visit by signs of their handiwork.
They eat and drink, get married and are born and die following the cycle of life so they can't be supernatural.
The garden gnome appears to be a super hero, fighting against environmental and animal rights injustices.
German Garden Gnomes
The garden gnome is fairly common in the country of Germany. Many homes will have sculptures of the little creatures in their gardens. As gnomes are fairly mischievous they enjoy hanging out in the gardens and lawns of those with sculptures. The garden gnome enjoys striking various poses amongst these replicas of themselves and waiting to see if passerby will notice. However people often don't and the gnome will grow bored and move on to other occupations.
Legend has it that the gnome was first spotted in Scandinavia around the 1400' and from there the gnomes migrated around the world. The garden gnomes have been referred to as the '' and their name is said to be derived from the old German, 'Kuba-Walda'
Sculptures of Garden gnomes have been found in Germany and Austria dating back to the 1700' and some state that these sculptures started to be mass produced in the late 1880' This obviously shows the influence gnomes have on the commercial industry. The garden gnome sculpture is trademarked in Germany and there is only one company in the country that can make them. Though many will buy a sculpture just outside the country at a cheaper price.
The garden gnomes replicas may have originally started out as facades and architecture on the faces of old buildings in Germany. In Germany the garden gnome is sign that the forces of nature and good luck are beneficial to those who have the honor of one living in their garden or yard.
Presently the garden gnome is extremely popular in southern Germany and there may be more gnomes than people in the area. These gnomes are also a sign of wealth and prestige as a well-made sculpture can cost a few hundred dollars. Obviously those whom the sculptures are based on must be feeling very good about themselves.
There are many races of the gnome species. Each one is scattered across the world and the gnomes of each race will resemble the humans of their country in feature and skin color. For example a garden gnome will have his own set of physical characteristics as a garden gnome, but a garden gnome in China will likely have straight black hair while a garden gnome in England will have light brown hair and pale skin. Some gnomes have a special set of characteristics they've evolved due to their environment, for example the hairy Peruvians of South Australia.
Gnomes tend to wear earthy colors and the cloth of their clothing is hand-woven. These little guys don't usually buy from the local market. Though the gnomes that live near humans may make clothing out of odd and ends pieces of cloth that humans leave around. They will never neglect to dye the cloth to a more appropriate green, brown, dark red or tan color. Prints are not in with gnomes.
The gnome will always be seen wearing his or her pointed cap. The female gnome wears a green cap with her hair down in braids before she is married and after she wears her hair up in a scarf. The male gnome wears a red cap and reluctantly if ever takes it off.
Many races of gnome are a benign and helpful species. They tend to watch over animals, nature and hapless humans. Some gnomes are even working to impart a little of their vast wisdom onto humans.
Gnomes, especially garden gnomes are difficult to see. Legend says that the gnome is invisible to the human eye, or they could be very good at camouflage. A human will usually discover that they have a gnome or that a gnome lives nearby due to the evidence of the gnome's helpful nature, such as sweeping the floor or tending to a wounded animal.