Clarissa Johal: #Paranormal Monday-Elves

Monday, February 3, 2014

#Paranormal Monday-Elves

I read a news story recently about the halting of a roadway being built in Iceland. Environmentalists said it would cut the surrounding lava field in two and destroy bird nesting sites. The locals claimed it would disturb elves living in the area. The two groups teamed up and the project has been shut down until the Supreme Court of Iceland makes a decision on whether it should proceed. While it's easy to understand the concerns of the environmentalists, it may be a little difficult for Western society to take advocates for elves seriously. However, 54% of Icelanders say that it's possible for elves, or Huldufólk, do exist.

Now, we aren't talking about elves like this (although if we were, I'd be moving to Iceland).








Or this (no comment)













But elves akin to faerie folk, or hidden people. Some elves only appear in the dreams of Icelanders. Others are physical beings; large with black hair, with a dislike for crosses, churches and electricity. Still others, are attractive and appear in a glowing white light. Some Icelandic folklore claim huldufólk are fallen angels condemned to live between heaven and hell. If you draw a parallel between this and the Western belief in angels, spirits and God, which are all essentially invisible beings, it may be easier to understand the Icelandic belief in elves.

This hasn't been the first time building projects in Iceland have been halted or altered due to elves. In 1982, 150 Icelanders went to the NATO base in Keflavík to look for "elves who might be endangered by American Phantom jets and AWACS reconnaissance planes." In 2004, Alcoa had a government expert certify that before they could build an aluminum smelter in Iceland, their chosen site was free of archaeological finds, including ones related to huldufólk folklore. Icelanders take their elves very seriously.

Almost every culture has some form of belief in faerie folk of some kind. Do you believe?

Do You Believe in Elves?
  
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2 comments:

Cait OSullivan said...

I'd be with you in moving to Iceland :) although I note you weren't as keen on the Irish variety ;). Interesting post, Clarissa. How great to see such firm belief in elves.

Clarissa Johal said...

The Keebler elves, yes, not my guys. haha I was surprised at the percentage that believed in elves, too. Very cool :)