The Teleri, the numerous Third Clan of the Elves, had been lovers of water and music from their earliest days in Middle-earth. Following their lords Elwë and Olwë, they set out on the Great Journey into the West, but they travelled more slowly than the Vanyar or the Noldor, and when Elwë became lost they searched the lands for him instead of travelling further. Thus they reached the shores of Beleriand after the other clans of the Eldar had departed across the Great Sea.
On the shores of Beleriand the Teleri were drawn to the western ocean, and they were befriended by the Maiar of the Sea, Ossë and Uinen. Ossë taught them much, and they grew in knowledge of the Sea and its music.
At last Ulmo returned to Middle-earth, bringing the island of Tol Eressëa, ready to take the Teleri to rejoin the other Eldar in the West. Some of them refused him, preferring to remain on their beloved coastlands, and these became the Falathrim, the people of Círdan. The rest, led by Olwë, went aboard the Lonely Isle and were carried across Belegaer into the Bay of Eldamar off the coasts of Aman, where Ulmo anchored the island.
The Teleri dwelt on Eressëa for an age, but as time passed they felt the desire to leave the island and see the Light of the Trees. Ossë taught them the craft of ship-building, and they set out across the Bay of Eldamar in vessels drawn by swans. Though they now dwelt in the land of Aman, they did not wish to leave the Sea behind them, and so they built themselves a port city on the eastern coasts. This was Alqualondë, the Haven of the Swans, and from it they sailed across the waters of the bay, gaining the Elvish name Falmari, which translates as 'Sea-elves'.
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