Here follows the sixth part with a list and some explanation concerning characters in Norwegian folk legends. The characters comes in alphabetic order according to their Norwegian name.

Huldrefolk/Huldre people

Last time I mentioned Huldra and she is naturally a part of ”huldrefolket” or the hidden people one might call them. ”They are the people who lived their lives the way we lived our under our feet.” There have some similarities with the faery people in Ireland. The structure of the stories are often the same. The hidden people are rarely beautiful, except for huldra. They are rich, but crook‐backed with long noses and ugly sounds. They are dressed in clothes with the colour of either blue or gray. They can not stand steel and silver. Sometimes they live in harmony with people on a farm, but quite often it does not turn out good as they can be directly evil towards humans. There is a folk legend about a man who had his specialty to chase away ”huldrefolk”. When he was chasing the away, the hidden people were crying like a large flock of sheep.

Another more beautiful folk legend tells of a huldre boy who falls in love with a girl and he is crying bitterly the day she gets married. But he forgives her and gives her peace which they not always did.

One should take certain precautions when one had to deal with huldrefolket. If you threw out the water, you had cry out to warn those who lived under your feet or throw it at certain times. If you broke the rule, it could turn out really bad. This would primarily hurt the animals on the farm: cows would milk the blood, animals would be full of lice and look like skeletons and be exhausted and sweating in the morning. Houses
could also burn down.

Huldrefolk took humans, and there are stories about people who up in their 80 years old who were “mesmerized” by the hidden people. Age did not matter if they wanted humans in their homes. Huldrefolk could not stand the sound of church bells, so this could release the taken one. There were other things you could do if you were taken as a prisoner in their home, like refuse to eat, drink and talk in their bright and shiny home. You could also try to spit in their faces.

Jerusalems skomaker/the shoemaker from Jerusalem

This is a tragic character there are a few stories about. The character is described as an old man with no shade and who always sighed. He would never enter a home, but wander on and on. He was a sort of outlaw and could not die. A folk legend tells that if he was asked who he really was, he would answer: “I was a guard under Pilate, and no one will forgive me.”

Jularei could be translated to something like ”Christmas raid”
This is probably the same thing as ”Aasgaardsreia” which I will describe later. But usually and unlike Aasgaardsreia which was a flock of characters, “Jularei” usually is described as one single lady who traveled around during Christmas time. She was described as a wife or a queen sitting in a cart. She had two dogs who run around freely. People were bound to feed the dogs. But the dogs were not allowed to steal. Then she would punish the dogs.

More next Thursday.

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