Belief in elves very strong in West Iceland
Snæfellsjökull glacier has always been reputed as a place of great magic and power. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson
The municipality of Snæfellnes is collecting documentation and stories about places where elves are believed to reside because of a review of the Snæfellsbær municipal land-use plan. The locals hold a strong belief in the hidden people.
"I have noticed how careful people are when they are talking about hidden forces in their environment," says Sigurðardóttir speaking to Morgunblaðið. "Some people think that divulging their whereabouts will unsettle the hidden people, who may turn on them. In general, belief in elves is very strong here in the county and it's a reality for most people here. Also, these stories are a treasure in themselves."
She believes that this cultural heritage could work well in promoting it for tourists.The Snæfellsbær municipal land-use plan should be ready and confirmed next year with regards to protection of wetlands, farming land, tourism, environmental protection and more.
Here are a couple of the stories collected:
In Álftanes in the southern part of Snæfellsnes, where Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir and her husband Gísli Örn Bjarkarson live with their children, a small hill lies behind the farm. Documentation exists to the fact that sheep who have fled there in storms were saved. Throughout the ages, children have been told not to play on the hill so as not to disturb its habitants. One story exists of a farmer's wife in Álftavatn who helped an elf woman give birth to a child and was rewarded with a beautiful cloak, which the family still holds in their possession.