Excuse me if i'm wrong but... Is it tolkien who created elves ?
Well, He did created the Elves you read about in his books. The tall beautiful creatures who still look young when they have adges a thousand years
and who can only be killed by deep sorrow or if they are slain... He created those for his own mythology.
he did however get inspiration from norse and Celtic mythology for them, both mythologies where great sources of inspiration for him. In Norse
folklore, where you most often hear about elves, the elves were originally the spirits of the dead. Later they where spoken of as supernatural
creatures, shaped as humans, only a lot shorter. The thing about Light Elves (Calaquendi in Tolkien's world) and Dark Elves (moriquendi in Tolkien's
world) is also taken from norse mythology, but the difference is that in norse mythology the dark elves where ugly as hell... in Tolkiens mythology
all elves are fair. The difference between norse and Celtic elves is that the Celtic elves are the size of humans.
So Tolkien did not create elves by himself... but he did create the version of elves you read about in his books.
[Edited on 17-9-2003 by AntiSystem]