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Brief Description   
Details and Comments   

Brief Description    

Anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away, they called a mathom.

Details and Comments    

Hobbits were obviously not fond of having too many things piled in their houses...or holes, if you wish, and preferred to get rid of the useless in the most appropriate way, especially when their dwellings were "apt to become rather crowded with mathoms". However, a Hobbit seems to be not willing to just easily throw away something, simply for the reason that he needed it not. This is why they "invented" the gifts giving - on a certain occasion they gave presents to other Hobbits, picking them up from their mathoms. The problem, however, was that in the rather closed community of he Hobbits of the Shire those "presents" simply passed from hand to hand. So, imagine you being a Hobbit - you give away a present=mathom but receive soon enough another one in return and the pile of them in your dwelling never vanishes. Besides, the opportunity of getting back the "present" you once gave to someone else is 100% sure!

I therefore think that this could be the reason why the Hobbits, practical as they were, established the Mathom-house - a "museum" they used to call it for storing there mostly trophies, such as weapons from old and forgotten days and lots of other stuff too. In fact, that seems to be the right place to store mathoms!

the StudyTeam

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