Korreds: The Underground Folk of Brittany

Korreds (also called Korrs) are guardians of treasures and standing stones in the folklore of Brittany (northwestern France). They prefer to live underground, in caves under the dolmens. They might also live under heaths, in sea-cliff caves, or in natural caverns. The related teuz and poulpikan types live in bogs or swamps.

Korreds have the strength of giants despite their small stature. They are said to live beneath the dolmen stones of Brittany. They have bright red eyes, dark skin, and often a hunched back. They are prophets as well as magicians, and are said to know the secrets of all treasures hidden in their neighborhood. They congregate around stone circles and love dancing but are more malevolent than other Gallic faeries. They are sometimes called bogul noz, “Children of the Night.”

The main delight of korreds is in dancing, which they do so vigorously that the grass burns in circles under their feet. They only dance at night, and usually on Wednesday, their traditional day off. They react with violence to mortals who disturb their dance-rituals, although mortals may be swept up in the ecstasy of the dance. Korreds are not always unkind to mortals, but they are never overly friendly.

In ancient times, Phoenician dwarves or sprites arrived in Brittany and intermarried with certain families of korreds. These dwarves were both kouretes (courètes) and karkinoi, another word for kabeiroi (carikines). Modern korreds are divided into the “old korreds,” the original pure lineage, and the “new korreds” who have a bit of this foreign heritage. Old Korred lineages include: Jetins (somewhat shorter), Vihans (also shorter), Hommes Cornus (from Gascony), Corics, Kerions, Kouricans, Gwazig-Gan, Kourils (or Courils), and Korandon. New Korred lineages include: Corriquets, Guerrionets, Korriks, Boudiguets, C’Horriquets, Corrandonnets, and Kornikaned (carry small horns on their belts).

In other parts of France, these beings are known as crions. They are also found in the Pyrenees and in Cornwall, where they are known as spriggans. Unlike spriggans, korreds are apparently unable able to grow to giant size.