First Nations people are sounding the alarm over a growing number of their youth who are converting to Hobbitism, a lifestyle inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic Lord of the Rings books.
The situation now has chiefs from communities across the country calling on the Assembly of First Nations to convene an emergency meeting to address the issue, in advance of the annual general gathering which takes place in December.
“It’s reached a point where I can’t even walk through my community without a young person offering me seed cake or moaning about missing second breakfast,” said Clifford Wilson, Chief of the Lonely Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario.
“My own nephew changed his name to Everard Took. No family is untouched by this.”
Wilson said coverts to Hobbitism spend most of their days drinking tea, eating several meals and looking for land to farm. The situation has taken a serious turn lately, however, he said.
“We had to pull about six youth out of a pit they were digging when it caved in,” he said. “They were trying to build a hobbit hole, I guess. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.”
The roots of First Nations Hobbitism trace back to non-Indigenous school teachers who came to work in remote communities in the 1990s, said University of Manitoba professor Nelson Queen.
“They brought with them vast collections of Tolkien’s work,” he said. “The books spread like the darkness of Sauron over Middle-Earth in the Third Age.”
Now with Amazon announcing that its going to adapt Tolkien’s work into a multi-season television series, advocates fear its a problem that’s only going to get worse.