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I have been looking over the beautiful map of LOTR located here. In doing so, I came across this region called Andrast. There's one other reference to Andrast on this forum, but otherwise both a Google search and a search here come up with very little additional information.

I don't recall any references to this area in the books. Does anyone know any further background on this remote region?

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  • It’s a region of Gondor, but I’m not sure there is much else to say about it. Sep 10, 2021 at 18:58

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Andrast, glossed by Tolkien as "Long Cape", is the mountainous promontory between the rivers Isen and Lefnui, also known as Ras Morthil. Contained in it is Druwaith Iaur, 'The old wilderness of the Dru-folk'.

(above information taken from the three entries in the Unfinished Tales index)

Tolkien first referred to this location by name in the c.1967-9 essay "The River and Beacon Hills of Gondor", and this is our main source of info about the region. In this essay Tolkien actually used the term Angast, and thus the quotes below will as well, but in 1969 Tolkien directed Pauline Baynes to label the region as "Andrast" on her map, and so this is Tolkien's final spelling, and is the form now used on other maps and in Unfinished Tales.

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Pauline Baynes - A Map of Middle-earth

The first Númenórean to sail past Andrast was Aldar­ion

Within three years Aldar­ion begged leave to go again, and he set sail for Lindon. He was three years abroad; and not long after another voyage he made, that lasted for four years, for it is said that he was no longer content to sail to Mithlond, but began to explore the coasts southwards, past the mouths of Baranduin and Gwathló and Angren[=Isen], and he rounded the dark cape of Ras Morthil[=Andrast] and be­held the great Bay of Belfalas, and the mountains of the country of Amroth where the Nandor Elves still dwell.
Aldarion and Erendis

This region was inhabited by the Púkel-men or Drû-folk, who used to live in the White mountains, but had been driven out early in the First Age due to invaders from the east. The Púkel-men kept to themselves and did not ally with Morgoth or Sauron.

As the Númenóreans began settling nearby areas in Middle-earth, its native inhabitants were pushed back and fled, but avoided fleeing into Andrast because of the Púkel-men who were still living there.

...but now the Númenóreans drove great tracks and roads into the forests northwards and southwards from the Gwathló, and the native folk that survived fled from Minhiriath into the dark woods of the great Cape of Eryn Vorn, south of the mouth of the Baranduin, which they dared not cross, even if they could, for fear of the Elvenfolk. From Enedhwaith they took refuge in the eastern mountains where afterwards was Dunland; they did not cross the Isen nor take refuge in the great promontory between Isen and Levnui that formed the north arm of the Bay of Belfalas1, because of the "Púkel-men", who were a secret and fell people, tireless and silent hunters, using poisoned darts.2

1 Afterwards called still Drúwaith (Iaur) ‘(Old) Púkel-land’, and its dark woods were little visited, nor considered as part of realm of Gondor.

2 They said that they [the "Púkel-men"] had always been there, and had former lived also in the White Mountains. In ages past they had paid no heed to the Great Dark One (Morgoth), nor did they later ally themselves with Sauron; for they hated all invaders from the East. From the East, they said, had come the tall Men who drove them from the White Mountains, and they were wicked at heart. Maybe even in the days of the War of the Ring some of the Drû-folk lingered in the mountains of Angast (Long Cape), the western outlier of the White Mountains, but only the remnant in the woods of Anórien were known to the people of Gondor.
The Rivers and Beacon Hills of Gondor

Even the Númenóreans never tried to occupy Andrast, but they maintained an outpost at the end of the cape.

There were no other rivers in this region, "further Gondor", until one came to the Levnui, the longest and widest of the Five. This was held to be the boundary of Gondor in this direction; for beyond it lay the promontory of Angast and the wilderness of ‘Old Púkel-land’ (Drúwaith Iaur) which the Númenóreans had never attempted to occupy with permanent settlements, though they maintained a Coast-guard force and beacons at the end of Cape Angast.
The Rivers and Beacon Hills of Gondor

By the end of the third age, Andrast was no longer as inhabited by the Púkel-men, who now kept to the caves and were often thought to be only found in Anórien. The region of Andrast where they had lived therefore now became known as Drúwaith Iaur, "the Old Púkel-wilderness". However, some of the remeants of the Púkel-men from there do pop up in Tolkien's writings and played a part by the Battles of the Fords of Isen.

The "Púkel-men" occupied the White Mountains (on both sides) in the First Age. When the occupation of the coastlands by the Númenóreans began in the Second Age they survived in the mountains of the promontory [of Andrast], which was never occupied by the Númenóreans. Another remnant survived at the eastern end of the range [in Anórien]. At the end of the Third Age the latter, much reduced in numbers, were believed to be the only survivors; hence the other region was called "the Old Púkel-wilderness" (Drúwaith Iaur). It remained a "wilder­ness" and was not inhabited by Men of Gondor or of Rohan, and was seldom entered by any of them; but Men of the Anfalas believed that some of the old "Wild Men" still lived there secretly.
"scrap of writing" published in Unfinished Tales

In ancient days the southern and eastern bounds of the North Kingdom had been the Greyflood; the western bounds of the South Kingdom was the Isen. To the land between (the Enedwaith or 'middle region') few Numenoreans had ever come, and none had settled there. In the days of the Kings it was part of the realm of Gondor, but it was of little concern to them, except for the patrolling and upkeep of the great Royal Road. ... In those days the region was little peopled. In the marshlands of the mouths of Greyflood and Isen lived a few tribes of 'Wild Men', fishers and fowlers, but akin in race and speech to the Druedain of the woods of Anorien.
"a long note to the text" to the Battles of the Fords of Isen

The name Drúwaith Iaur (Old Púkel-land) appears on Miss Pauline Baynes' decorated map of Middle-earth, placed well to the north of the mountains of the promontory of Andrast. My father stated however that the name was inserted by him and was correctly placed. - A marginal jotting states that after the Battle of the Fords of Isen it was found that many Drúedain did indeed survive in the Drúwaith Iaur, for they came forth from the caves where they dwelt to attack remnants of Saruman's forces that had been driven away southwards. - In a passage cited [in the previous quote] there is a reference to tribes of "Wild Men," fishers and fowlers, on the coasts of Enedwaith, who were akin in race and speech to Drúedain of Anórien.
Unfinished Tales - "The Drúedain"

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    Since Pauline Baynes is mentioned in this answer, may be worth mentioning that yesterday would have been her 99th birthday.
    – ibid
    Sep 10, 2021 at 19:30

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