Yavannildi

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Fields of Gold by Jenny Dolfen

The Yavannildi (S. Ivonwin) were the elven-women that knew and kept the secrets to making lembas, an art learned from the Valar.

History[edit]

Only the Yavannildi knew the process of making lembas and were allowed to handle the grain from the ear of the corn that would become the wafer.[1] However, as the grain came from Yavanna, only the Massánië, or the highest among the elven-women, could keep and distribute the lembas.

Etymology[edit]

Yavannildi is Quenya for "Maidens of Yavanna", from nildë ("friend").[2]

The Sindarin form Ivonwin means the same, from Ivon (the Sindarin name for Yavanna) + lenited plural gwend ("maiden").[3]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In The Nature of Middle-earth, it is said that in Elvish legend, that lembas was a gift from Manwë and Varda for the Great Journey that was brought to the Elves by Oromë, who taught the art to the Bread-women (S. hávanissi) by Oromë , though Bread-women was possibly just another name for the Yavannildi.[4]

In the second text, Oromë brought the Western Corn seed that was used in the making of lembas rather than the bread itself. In the text, he taught the art to the Three Elderwomen of the Elves, rather than the Yavannildi. Due to the dimmed sunlight,[note 1][5] the Western Corn slowly diminished until the Elves had none upon entering Beleriand. However, the Noldor brought a new batch of Western Corn during their flight from Aman.[6]

See also[edit]

Notes

  1. In a previous draft, the word "dim" was originally "lack of".

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XV. Of Lembas", pp. 404-5
  2. Paul Strack, "Q. Yavannildi coll.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 22 December 2019)
  3. Paul Strack, "S. Ivonwin coll.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 22 December 2019)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: IV. The Making of Lembas", Text 1 and footnote 1
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: IV. The Making of Lembas", note 3
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: IV. The Making of Lembas", Text 2 and note 2