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In The Return of the King, Appendix A, there's this quote about female dwarves:

Dís was the daughter of Thrain II. She is the only dwarf-woman named in these histories. It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole population. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart.

Do the females have beards too, as 'the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart'?

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2 Answers 2

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Yes

From Appendix A, we get a description of dwarf-women from Gimli, also mentioning the rarity of them (only 1-in-3) and their unwillingness to go abroad. He also describes the with the following physical appearance (emphasis mine):

They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart.
The Return of the King: Appendix A - III Durin's Folk

This, in my opinion, sums up the answer that they also have beards. However, Christopher Tolkien (the editor for most of Tolkien's posthumous work) suggests similar (from The War of the Jewels):

For the Naugrim have beards from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike; nor indeed can their womenkind be discerned by those of other race...
The War of the Jewels - (Part Two) The Later Quenta Silmarillion: XIII Concerning the Dwarves

Naugrim is the Sindarin name for Dwarves

In conclusion, the dwarves are said to appear almost exactly alike regardless of gender, and all dwarves are born with beards.

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In Gimli's description he says, "if they go abroad". This leads me to think it likely that the women were quite probably disguised as men when outside their domain. The idea that dwarf women must have beards is ridiculous. Perhaps Christopher Tolkien made the reference, JRR Tolkien never did to my knowledge.

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    The "if they go abroad" modifies only the item "in garb"; the separation between that modifier and the other items is accomplished via the ", and" (note a comma!)
    – bobble
    Aug 3, 2022 at 3:07
  • "The idea that dwarf women must have beards is ridiculous." No, the idea that dwarves are just like humans regarding beards is ridiculous. Humans are the only species that has this kind of sexual dimorphism, all other animals have their fur/feathers/scales wherever they have it regardless of gender. Why could dwarves not just have hair in their face regardless of gender? Oct 16, 2022 at 19:45

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