More on the Huldufolk

Yesterday, I shared a little about the legend of the Huldufolk. The details shared were told to me by a friend. After I share all the information I collect I will show you how I shaped my own legend.

Today I will share from Nelson S. Gerrard The Icelandic Heritage

‘Huldufolk (hidden folk), also referred to as alfar (elves), were also widely believed in and taken rather seriously until recent times. One of the most unique of Iceland’s many supernatural phenomena, they can be compared only to the leprechauns of Ireland, who liek the huldufolk lived in rocky outcrops and were invisible to all but those with second sight. Huldufolk differed from their Irish cousins, however, in that they also inhabited lakes, and were not dwarfs or tiny elves, but fully human in appearance –their only distinguishing feature being the lack of a nasal septum dividing the nostrils. Undoubtedly the remnant of pagan traditions brought to Iceland in ancient times, this race of beings remained heathen in faith, at least in some stories, though they had churches and worshipped in much the same way as humans. In some respects they were a superior race, at least with regard to their powers and knowledge, but they nevertheless frequently sought human contact. Sometimes they fell in love with humans and lured them into their world, and occasionally they left their own kind to marry a human. The women of this race were known to react badly if their advances were not reciprocated by the mortal man of their choice, and various disabilities, markings, or misfortunes were attributed to such occasions. The huldufolk also showed an unusual fascination with human infants, and they were thought to abduct babies, leaving changelings in their place. Huldukonur (hidden women) were also known to call upon human midwives to help them through a difficult labour, which would be rewarded with great good fortune for the midwife, and similar good luck would result from other favours done for the huldufolk. Great care had to be not to disturb the dwelling place of these beings, however, or revenge would be sought, and on New Year’s night, which was believed to be the time that huldufolk moved from place to place, they must be made welcome if future relations were to be good. The belief in huldufolk was taken less seriously toward the end of the 19th century, but it has survived to the present time in some respects, and countless stories of the huldufolk are recorded.’

More on the huldufolk to follow…

Why not do a google search and see what you can find.

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