Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elves in Iceland

I have two pen pals in Iceland who live near Reykjavik and never once have they mentioned any belief in elves. So I emailed them and am waiting for their response to my questions. Since Iceland is not a very devoutly religious country as a whole, it would seem that elf-believers are replacing god belief with elf fantasies. This would be yet another illustration of how humans use their imagination to make their boring lives more interesting.
From Slate:
LINK: Elf Detection 101
How to find the Hidden Folk of Iceland

An article on Iceland's de facto bankruptcy in the April issue of Vanity Fair notes that a "large number of Icelanders" believe in elves or "hidden people." This widespread folklore occasionally disrupts business in the sparsely populated North Atlantic country. Before the aluminum company Alcoa could erect a smelting factory, "it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it." How do you find an elf?

With psychic powers. According to a poll conducted in 2007, 54 percent of Icelanders don't deny the existence of elves and 8 percent believe in them outright, although only 3 percent claim to have encountered one personally. The ability to see the huldufólk, or hidden folk, can't be learned; you're just born with it. To find elves, seers don't really need to do anything—they'll just sense an elfin presence. The Vanity Fair article says that elf detection can take six months, but it's usually a quick process that can last under an hour. And although the magazine claims that a "government expert" had to certify the nonexistence of elves, the Icelandic Embassy insists that these consults are performed by freelancers, not government contractors.
Love this part
The huldufólk are thought to live in another dimension, invisible to most.
Just like where the gods live, in other dimensions that are invisible to us! When will all of these believers in fantasies see the correlation between the vast variety of beliefs. What it comes down to is invisible, supernatural beings who live in other dimensions whether it's fairies, elves, ogres, dragons, gods, goddesses, ghosts and whatnot. While we know that these things are only imagination, the article is quite interesting and fun to fantasize about.

Here is a link to the story about the hidden people and a photo below of of the
tiny wooden álfhól (elf houses) people build in their gardens for elves/hidden people to live in.

Just when you think you've heard it all . . . there's more.

1 comment:

Elín Sigrún said...

The myth about elves in Iceland is still believed. And the elder Icelandic people still believe in them. My friend's mother says always when she can't find her things that the elves had borrowed it. So if your pen-pals are young they will/have probably said that they didn't believe in them.