The Wood-Elves, also known as Silvan-Elves (Q."Nanar";"Naneldar"), or Tawarwaith (S."forest-people"), were the largest group of Quendi remaining in the Westlands.They were for the most part descendants of the Nandor, Elves of the Telerin strain who had refused to cross the Hithaeglir and chose to remain within the great Greenwood, although some of these Nandor were later joined by the Penni, Nelyarin Avari who had arrived in Rhovanion with the host of Tareg.In the Second Age these Wood-folk were also joined by Sindarin exilants who longed to return to the ways of their ancestors and to become a forest-people.Those Wood-Elves of Lórien were additionally joined by many Noldor, refugees from the fallen realm Eregion.
The Tawarwaith still remained in their ancestral lands, although the great Greenwood had lost it's former size and was reduced to the Mirkwood, the smaller forest realm of Lothlorien and the Neldoreth or Eryn Rhûn some smaller groups also had moved to Gondor (the Area of Dor-en-Ernil) or Eriador (the Lindellim).Their closest relatives were the Green-Elves.
The Tawarwaith were a bit smaller and more stout than the taller Noldor, most of them were dark-haired and green- or grey/blue-eyed although many, especially among those of Sindarin-descend, also had blond or silver-white hair (especially within the Nobility).While those of Sindarin descend more often had a rather pale White skin-tone while those of Avarin descend often showed lavender or olive complexion.
The Tawarwaith originally spoke a Nandorin-dialect,known as 'East Danian or Leikvian, however with the growing influence of the Sindar most had abandoned their old tongue and grew accustomed to Sindarin, although a dialect known as Tawarin which was heavily influenced by Nandorin in pronounciation and many loan-words.The Lórien-dialect was also influenced by Noldorin.
Wood-Elves dressed in clothes made from Elven-Silk and Oak-leather, men wore breeches, long- or short-armed tunics and hoods or hooded cloaks, women dressed in long and wide gowns, although many dressed similar to men when on hunt or wandership.While the Galadhrim dressed in grey, the Elves of the Woodland-Realm preferred to wear the colours of the wood, changing with the seasons.The Elves of Eryn Rhûn dressed more similar to the wild Avari of the east, although the nobility had adopted many customs of the more sophisticated Sindar.
The Tawarwaith lived inside the dense forest Lands, most were Hunters and Gatherers but many have also had become planters and the gardens and vinyards of the Wood-Elf realms were legendary.Most Tawarwaith Clans lived in small groups scattered in the wilds, some lived in large Telain or Tree-flets, greater settlements could consist of networks of interconnected Telain as well as Dyrnath ("Oak-Towers") and the fabulous Tree-forts.A different kind of dwelling were the Cerais, built forts or dwellings surrounded by bulkwarks.
Supplemental to the elven Growers, Gatherers and Hunters the Tawarwaith were also skilled Crafters, they were fabled Weavers,Fletchers as well as Wood- and leather-workers for the Wood-elves were the only Folk who knew the secret of Oak-leather-making.
Genealogy of the Wood-Elves
Tawarwaith of Renown
- Retrieved from [Realms of Arda]; original reference:
- 1ICE MERP 2013, p.126.
- 1ICE MERP 2014, p.206.