The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The tradition of using the boughs of the Elven-tree on Númenórean vessels was established around II 600
Known to have grown on Tol Eressëa and Númenor
Other names


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  • Updated 25 January 2013
  • This entry is complete


A name for Oiolairë

Númenor was surrounded by the Great Sea, but it was close to the island of the Elves, Tol Eressëa that lay to the West. In Númenor's early history, the Elves of Eressëa would frequently visit the isle of the Dúnedain, bringing with them gifts that included plants and trees. One of these was a fragrant evergreen that the Elves called oiolairë, that by custom they set on the prows of their ships in recognition of the Maiar of the Sea. The Númenóreans took up this practice, too, and ships leaving the island would each bear a Green Bough of Return - a bough cut from the Elven-tree oiolairë.

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