The Huldufólk of Iceland

“This is a land where everyone is aware that the land is alive, and one can say that the stories of hidden people and the need to work carefully with them reflects an understanding that the land demands respect” –  Terry Gunnell, a folklore professor at the University of Iceland

We have moved on from Wroclaw in Poland and its street dwarfs so I thought you might like some pictures of the Huldufólk. the “hidden folk” of Icelandic folklore who live in a mystical landscape of mountain passes with peaks lost in the clouds, of arctic chill, windswept valleys, gnarled volcanic rock, wild moss and winter scorched meadows.

“It’s sort of a relationship with nature, like with the rocks. (The elves) all live in the rocks, so you have to. It’s all about respect, you know.” – Icelandic Singer Bjork.

In a land like this. of fire and ice, a place that is wild and magical, where the fog-shrouded lava fields provide a spooky landscape in which it is possible that anything out of the ordinary might lurk, stories flourish about the “hidden folk”.

According to Icelanders these are the thousands of elves who make their homes in the wilderness,  supernatural forces that dwell within the hallowed volcanic rubble and coexist alongside the 320,000 or so Icelandic people.

People in Iceland do not throw stones into the wilderness just in case they carelessly injure an Elf!

“It has caused a lot of arguments, as it’s something that’s very difficult to prove. Iceland is full of álagablettir, or enchanted spots, places you don’t touch – just like the fairy forts and peat bogs in Ireland. They’re protected by stories about the bad things that will happen if you do” – Terry Gunnell

If you are wondering where the Huldufólk are in my pictures? Well, according to Icelandic lore they are hidden beings that inhabit a parallel world that is invisible to human eyes, and can only be spotted by psychics and little children, unless they willingly decide to reveal themselves to people.

Sometimes however you can see their houses…

Have you been to Iceland – Have you seen the the Huldufólk?

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26 responses to “The Huldufólk of Iceland

  1. Andrew as many articles as I have read yours are the only ones to speak of the elves. So intriguing to me. I haven’t seen them but should I get to Iceland I shall be on the hunt. 🙂

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  2. We are going to Iceland in June. I will keep an eye out for them.

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    • Look for the little houses, they are easier to spot! I would like to visit Iceland in June with those nice long days to explore the country. I have only been in the Winter with long dark nights.

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  3. Iceland is on my must-visit list.

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  4. Been to Iceland but didn’t see any – just the houses!

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  5. I think I’ll stick with the gnomes. I could keep my eye on them, Andrew. 🙂

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  6. Where everyone understands the land is alive. Great post…

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  7. Would very much love to go someday…

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  8. I’ve never been to Iceland but I hear from everyone who has that it’s definitely worth a visit. So I’ll put it on my bucket list and look for the elves while I’m there.

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  9. I’ll miss the dwarfs, but I like the concept of understanding that the land is alive. If only some folks with too much power here understood that.

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  10. And there was me thinking that Elves only lived in the North Pole? I guess they travel over to The North Pole to help out Santa? I only wish I had gone to Iceland when I was a little child. Maybe I would have seen them then? Then again, I probably would have been very frightened by them or they frightened me. Now I’m wondering why babies always cry when I come into the room.

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