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Púkel-men carving in the Drúadan Forest


Drúedan refers to the race of men the Rohirrim call Woses, Wild Men of the Woods and Púkel-men. They were a race of Men that survived only in Taur Drúadan (Drúadan Forest) by the Third Age. They were counted amongst the Edain.
  • Drúadan (pl. Drúedain) is Sindarin.
  • Drûg/Drughu: (singular and plural) is the name the Drúedain give to themselves in their own language and the name used for a race known to the Elves as the Drúedain.
  • Drúath: (plural) was an earlier Sindarin name for them in ancient times.
  • Róg/Rógin: (singular and plural) is the name that the Rohirrim have for them in their own language.
  • Rú/Rúatani: (singular and plural) is their name in Quenya.
  • Wose/Woses: (singular and plural) was a word Tolkien took from an Old English word, which was meant to be a translation of the Rohhirric 'Róg'.
  • Oghor-hai: (singular and plural) is the name the Orcs gave to them. [1]
The Drûgs were the first to migrate from the site where Men awoke, in the east of Middle-earth. A band lived among the Second House of Men, the Haladin, in the First Age in the forest of Brethil, whence the Elves came to know and love them. Although a number of the Drúedain came with the Edain to Númenor, they had left or died out before the Akallabêth (the cataclysmic destruction of the island of Númenor), as had the Púkel-men of Dunharrow. At the end of the Third Age the Drûgs still lived in Taur Drúadan, the Drúadan Forest, of the White Mountains, and on the long cape of Andrast west of Gondor. The region north of Andrast was still known as Drúwaith Iaur, or "Old Drûg land".
The term Púkel-men used by the Rohirrim was also applied to the fearsome statues constructed by the Drúedain to guard important places and homes; some evidently had the power to come to life. Because of their ugly appearance and frightening statues, the Drúedain were feared and loathed by other Men of the region; they were considered little better than Orcs, and there was much enmity between those peoples.
Nevertheless, the Drúedain of Ghân-buri-Ghân's clan came to the aid of the Rohirrim during the War of the Ring in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. A large company of Orcs had been sent to the Drúadan Forest to waylay the host of Rohan as it made its way to the aid of Gondor. It was the Drúedain who held off the Orcs with poisoned arrows whilst they guided the Rohirrim through the forest by the long forgotten road of Stonewain Valley. Without their help the Rohirrim would not have arrived at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and Sauron would likely have triumphed. As a result, the Drúedain gained the respect of other Men.
After the War of the Ring, King Elessar granted the Drúadan Forest "forever" to them in the Fourth Age, promising that no man would enter their forests without the leave of the Drúedain. [2]
In ancient times the White Mountains had been home to the Drúedain or Púkel-men, but during the later Second Age the Númenóreans began to colonise and exploit the coastal lands of Middle-earth, and the Drúedain retreated before the incomers. A few survived in the Drúadan Forest, but others removed to the mountains of Andrast and the coastlands northward of that peninsula. By the end of the Third Age, it was thought that this group of Púkel-men had become extinct, and so the region was given the name Drúwaith Iaur, 'Old Púkel-land' (that is, the land where the Púkel-men formerly lived). During the War of the Ring, however, it was discovered that the Drúedain of Drúwaith Iaur had in fact survived, dwelling in caves in the mountains. [3]