Here follows the fourth part with a list and some explanation concerning characters in Norwegian folklegends.

Foytonorm/foyton serpent

The foyton serpent is mentioned in legends from the region called Telemark. This is a huge serpent that squirted ”edder” (poison) and fire, and it broke trees with it’s enormous tail.

Gongfal – no english translation

Legends about ”Gongfalen” is located at the part of North of Norway called Helgeland. This was a spirit that hovered in the air, talking and singing. It is said that they could be dangerous to humans, but not how. In order to protect themselves one should use steel or run out in a field. One could also lie down in a crossroad where a corpse had been carried both ways.

Gygre – giantess

Gygre was the female counterpart of troll, jutul or rise. She had the same attributes though a horrible temper, especially when it came to love and relationships. Her legs were exceptionally long. In Ivar Aasen’s collection of folk legends, there are several legends about trolls who are unfaithful to their wives and they turn furious. Otherwise, she is constantly travelling with her goats.

A legend tells about an angry gygre who pulled of one of her legs and threw it against a church when she heard the church bells. Otherwise, she amused herself with being out in nights with moonlight.

Gaasse – no english translation

This phenomen is observed only in legends from the part of Norway called Romsdal. Gaasse is described as a black shadow that lives for centuries. It lives in the mountains, bu tare often out around christmas. Then you can hear the humming from the mountains in the air, the earth shakes and cracks as if someone heavy runs over it. Gaassen could be useful to have around. It made sure that there was no war, and ”it” held the trolls away.

Haugfolket – directly translated – people who lives in hills

Haugfolket, haugbo’n, haugtusse and haugbokk are all both a general term and the name of a special character associated with a particular district. Haugfolket may be the same as the fairy people. But in Ivar Aasen’s collection of legends these people were little people that could come to the aid if needed. In a place called Eidskog they were described as people we also know as the fairy people or ”huldrefolket”. Huldra is a beautiful woman with yellow hair, red shirt and blue skirt. Haugkallen, the male, is crook-backed and has a long crooked nose reaching down to the saddle on the horse when he rides. In legends from Telemark, haugbonden was what we today would regard as nisse (will come later), a small person who likes to trick human beings, he laughs a lot, is wearing a grey clothes and a red hat and eats porridge.

The term haugbokken have the same local variations. In the legends from Romsdal they looks like the fairy people (meaning being of the size of human beings).

Haubokken could have their home in earth under a humans’ house or they would live on

islands. They could help if you helped them, but they could also captivate people. When this happened one should ring the church bells quickly to release the human.

In the legends from Nordmore haubokkjen are people who are small. Here they are described as dressed in blue and lives in piles of stones or hills.

They were outrageously strong.

More next Thursday