The Petty-dwarves were a diminutive race of Dwarves.
The Petty-dwarves were Dwarves of [presumably] several houses, which had been exiled from eastern Dwarf cities for unclear reasons. They were the first to cross the Ered Luin in the First Age, and established strongholds in Beleriand before the Elves arrived, at Nargothrond and Amon Rûdh. In Beleriand they diminished in physical stature and in smith-craft.
The Sindar, not acquainted with Dwarves yet, saw the Petty-dwarves as little more than bothersome animals, and hunted them. Not until the Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod established contact with the Sindar did they realize what the "animals" were and named them Noegyth Nibin; Petty-dwarves. Afterwards they were mostly left alone, but not before the Petty-dwarves came to hate all Elves with a passion.
By the time of the War of the Jewels, after the return of the Noldor, the Petty-dwarves had nearly died out. The last remnant of their people were Mîm and his two sons Ibun and Khîm, who lived at Amon Rûdh.
Petty-dwarves differed from normal Dwarves in various ways: they were smaller, far more unsociable, and they freely gave away their names: other Dwarves kept their Khuzdul names and language a secret. This may have been one of the reasons they were exiled.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix B. Elvish names for the Dwarves", p. 388