arrowpoint: (➹ sîr)
arrowpoint ([personal profile] arrowpoint) wrote in [community profile] nolondili2014-03-07 01:00 pm
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Lembas

Found this passage concerning Lembas in "The History of Middle Earth."

Of Lembas:

'This food the Eldar alone knew how to make. It was made for the comfort of those who had need to go upon a long journey in the wild, or of the hurt whose life was in peril. Only these were permitted to use it. The Eldar did not give it to Men, save only to a few whom they loved, if they were in great need.* The Eldar say that they first received this food from the Valar in the beginning of their days in the Great Journey. For it was made of a kind of corn which Yavanna brought forth in the fields of Aman, and some she sent to them by the hand of Orome for their succour upon the long march.

(* This was not done out of greed or jealousy, although at no time in Middle-earth was there great store of this food; but because the Eldar had been commanded to keep this gift in their own power, and not to make it common to the dwellers in mortal lands. For it is said that, if mortals eat often of this bread, they become weary of their mortality, desiring to abide among the Elves, and longing for the fields of Aman, to which they cannot come.)

Since it came from Yavanna, the queen, or the highest among the elven-women of any people, great or small, had the keeping and gift of the lembas, for which reason she was called massanie or besain: the Lady, or breadgiver.

Now this corn had in it the strong life of Aman, which it could impart to those who had the need and right to use the bread. If it was sown at any season, save in frost, it soon sprouted and grew swiftly, though it did not thrive in the shadow of plants of Middle-earth and would not endure winds that came out of the North while Morgoth dwelt there. Else it needed only a little sunlight to ripen; for it took swiftly and
multiplied all the vigour of any light that fell on it. The Eldar grew it in guarded lands and sunlit glades; and they gathered its great golden ears, each one, by hand, and set no blade of metal to it. The white haulm was drawn from the earth in like manner, and woven into corn-leep (2) for the storing of the grain: no worm or gnawing beast would touch that gleaming straw, and rot and mould and other evils of Middle-earth did not assail it.

From the ear to the wafer none were permitted to handle this grain, save those elven-women who were called Yavannildi (or by the Sindar the Ivonwin), the maidens of Yavanna; and the art of the making of the lembas, which they learned of the Valar, was a secret among them, and so ever has remained.' Lembas is the Sindarin name, and comes from the older form lenn-mbass 'journey-bread'. In Quenya it was most often named coimas which is 'life-bread'.


So, I notice a few things to discuss:

1 - it sounds like Lembas has some healing properties?
2 - It's made of some kind of special corn from Aman.
3 - Only some women knew/know how to make it.
4 - It sounds like it can grow in middle earth, but it's difficult, and the Elves make special places for it to grow, and protect it.

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