The Hidden Folk of Iceland

“Two nations live in this country — the Icelandic nation and this invisible nation.”

Huldufólk 102 is a wonderful 2006 documentary about Icelanders’ relationship with the Hidden Folk (elves, fairies) in their landscape. You can watch it online here (74 min.) Here is the trailer.

One of my favorite parts starts eight minutes in, when a primary school teacher is explaining to the kids how the elves live in a boulder.

Only one of the numerous people interviewed is obviously New Age-y, with her talk about earth chakras, etc. And there is one guy in sort-of medieval Norse garb, his cap decorated with runes, who is described in the subtitle as a “sorcerer.” (Some people are speaking English, some Icelandic with subtitles.) The rest are pretty much down-to-earth Icelanders, a couple of whom describe their own outlooks as Pagan and/or Heathen.

You have heard stories about roads being routed around “inhabited” spots? Here is a civil engineer who did it.

Also  the land itself: mountains, geysers, rocky coasts, cliffs — wonderful as well.

UPDATE: Bad link to complete film now fixed.

(Hat tip to Galina Krasskova.)

Viking “Sunstones” Were Icelandic?

Now everyone will want a “Viking sunstone.”

Sunstones (BBC News)

This bit of information about the polarizing rocks has been around for a while. As far as I can tell, the “news hook” is just that a specific Icelandic source is suggested.

Expect a Llewellyn book on how to use them in about two years.

An Icelandic Approach to the “Reburial” Issue

Here is a twist on the controversy over the reburial of ancient remains: Bury the skeleton and grave goods at the museum.

Of course, it helps it the remains are Norse and the museum is the Viking World Museum in Iceland. Not so many problems of cultural continuity there.

According to museum director Elisabeth Ward, research has shown that most Icelandic settlers were pagan [sic] and that paganism was practiced among the first generations of Icelanders.

“We are reconstructing the pagan grave from Hafurbjarnarstadir,” Ward explained. “The skeletons are placed in a wooden boat, which is a replica of a Viking boat, and sand from Hafurbjarnarstadir has been put inside. Some people believe the man was buried inside a boat, but it is not quite clear.”

(Hat tip: Caroline Tully at Necropolis Now.)

An Icelandic Pocahantas?

In 1998, the Icelandic parliament passed a bill authorizing creation of a database of all citizens’ genetic, genealogical, and medical records, sometimes called The Book of Icelanders.

Now, reports National Geographic, researchers have found traces of possible American Indian ancestry in some Icelanders. They hypothesize that some of the explorers or settlers in Vinland might have brought back a woman, or women, from a North American tribe.

Fascinating. Next they will be telling us that Severed Ways is a documentary.

It’s still not as weird as the legend that some western Chinese are descended from Roman soldiers.

Gallimaufry with Chariots

• Icelandic Pagans curse the nation’s economic rivals. See what happens when you mix polytheism and international banking? (Via Pagan Newswire Collective.)

• I do like what Iceland may do for freedom of the (online) press.

• We are the Empire, and we have the chariot-racing to prove it. Video no. 2 is the better one. Go Greens. (Via LawDog.)

• American pop culture is not keen on reincarnation as a plot device?

• Once again, Wicca as “the Other” gets tangled up with current political debate

Sex with Icelandic Elves

I linked to a site about sex with ghosts, so why not sex with elves?

Call them “the hidden people,” call the them the Shining Ones, whatever you like. These are not garden gnomes we are talking about: “They’re not like small, ugly gnomes. They’re more like tall and beautiful.”

And they know what you want in bed. Whew!

“It would make the world a better place if more people had sex with elves.”

I remain agnostic about that, but I would still love to see Iceland.