Icelandic Body Folklore: Necropants

Icelandic Body Folklore of the Nábrók and the Nábrókarstafur.

There are two sides to Folklore. One is light and cheerful like folk dancing and some folk music. Then there is a dark side that presents itself as sheer terrifying like this  Icelandic folklore about real human necropants.
Nábrók means “death underpants!” (No I’m not joking!)
They’re a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead man, according to Icelandic witchcraft, generates a limitless money cache.

The photo below is a replica of a pair of nábrók at The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft.


The Magick Ritual:
Legend dictates, in order create your own necropants or nábrók, one has to attain approval from the living person in order to use their skin for this ritual after they have expired.

This gruesome ritual states once the deceased man has been buried, he must be dug up and excoriate in one piece his skin from the waist down.

When you step into the skin of the cadaver the Nábrók will fuse itself to your lower body.

Next, you must pillage a coin from a poor widow and place in the scrotum with the magical sigil,  nábrókarstafur, penned on a scrap of paper.

Then, the coin will attract money continuously into the scrotum as long as no one disturbs the initial coin.

The Christian twist to this is for one that desires to attain salvation, the owner of the necropants must convince an unwary male to accept ownership of the nábrók and pop into the pants immediately.

The nábrók will continue producing coins for ages.
Icelandic Sigil of the nábrókarstafur.


The magical symbol above, is part of the ritual and at its feet are coins.

-Written by NiftyBuckles©2018



Source and References:

Sigurður, Atlason (14 November 2005). “Stave for Necropants”. Strandagaldur, Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.


 Huldufólk of Iceland: Don’t Touch Our Rocks or Bad luck will follow you!

A very unusual story  was revealed in the Icelandic newspaper, called Fréttablaðið. Meaning in English,  frétt (“news”) +‎ blað (“paper”) concerning some lava stone that a British tourist returned home with him a few years ago. According to the story he experienced real bad luck in his personal and public life when returning to the UK. He blames the Icelandic lava stone, and actually mailed it back to Iceland, pleading that it be returned to its natural habitat.

Tourists sometimes need to be reminded that it is illegal to remove stones and rocks from Iceland. This law originates from the tales of the Huldufólk, Icelandic elves that mine the earth. The icelandic folk believe that these busy elves are the guardians of the earth, rocks and stones. Their message is clear, Don’t touch our rocks or bad luck will follow!  Check out the original story here   Told Lava Mound Source of Misfortune

The Huldufólk of Iceland are small elf like creatures that hide under hill, rocks and trees.
They are known to cause chaos when their natural environment is threatened by today’s technology. ie. People using graters to flatten their hills. Icelandic folk have created small houses built into rocks and hills for them.

The folklore behind them has been Christianized. The tale cites the Huldufólk are the unwashed children of Adam and Eve. They were bathing their children when the Abrahamic god showed up uninvited. The Pagan view is that the Huldufólk are the guardians of the earth, they aid mother earth to stay unblemished and majestic.

Adam and Eve, quickly hid the gritty children behind rocks and trees and eventually forgot about them altogether, leaving them to fend for themselves. They had fibbed to their Biblical god when he asked about all their children. So the Biblical god cursed their unwashed children leaving them to stay hidden forever. The Huldufólk blended with the land and never really aged due to their small size and the curse laid upon them by a tyrannical god.

– Written by Nifty Brýn Buckles©2018


Source and References:

* Fréttablaðið:

*Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson (1993). “The testimony of waking consciousness and dreams in migratory legends concerning human encounters with the hidden people”. Arv: Nordic Yearbook of Folklore. 49: 123–131

*Alda Sigmundsdóttir (19 April 2009). My Iceland: the glamorous opulence of the hidden people”. The Iceland Weather Report.

Sealore: The Vampire-Mermaid

The Vampire-Mermaid in Sealore.

When one thinks of a mermaid you may visualize Ariel, from Disney’s 1989 movie version of the fairy tale called “The Little Mermaid.” One may also think of the late Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid.” Published on April 7 1837. These mermaids were benevolent and wished for a soul of their own.

In Sealore this kind of mermaid would at times seduce a sailor of their choice, by singing an ancient seductive song. Her goal was to marry a human. Once the mermaid swam to shore she would transform into a woman sporting legs rather than wearing her usual fish tail.

On the other side of the fin so to speak, are Vampire-mermaids which are nasty sea spirits that exhibit similar behavior as Sirens.

Sirens, in the Greek myth, Homer’s Odyssey, sing an ancient song that seduce sailors to seek out their bewitching voices, their hypnotic voices led sailors to Davy Jones’ locker, having crashed their ships upon the rocks.

Other tales speak of a mermaid saving a sailor’s life if he happened to fall off a ship or was tossed off by a third party.

According to sea and mermaid lore, kind mermaids are amiable and help save many drowning folks, over several centuries. According to this lore, mermaids have the gift of healing, while other mermaids are psychopomps, that assist the deceased spirits of the drowned to other dimensions.

However, the dark, malicious type of mermaid termed, “Vampire-mermaid,” hates people and is determined to destroy them.

Vampire-mermaids do not drain a person’s blood out of their body instead, they suck out one’s soul.

According to expert and one of my favorite authors Judika Illes , mentions in her book The encyclopedia of spirits: the ultimate guide to the magic of fairies, genies, demons, ghosts, gods, and goddesses. Note: ( A great book! Very informative, scary and fun I encourage everyone to purchase it). That the Vampire-mermaid is a very strategic hunter that outwardly appears gorgeous and provocative. She will act seductively towards her ignorant victim until she closes in for the kill and quickly drains the victim of his spirit.

Pretty Scary stuff! I’d say.

Vampire mermaids and mermaids; both types of mermaids desire a soul of their own. Both have opposite ways of obtaining it.

So be wary of crossing the path of a mermaid. She just might be a Vampire mermaid which could be deadly for you!


Picture of Vampire Mermaid Courtesy of MizuShin on DeviantArt


-Written by Nifty Buckles©2018

Sources & References:

Andersen, Hans Christian (2007-12-13). “The Little Mermaid”. IL: Gilead.

Walt Disney Studios, The Little Mermaid (film, 1989 Homer, Odyssey, book 12.

Illes, Judika (2009). The encyclopedia of spirits: the ultimate guide to the magic of fairies, genies, demons, ghosts, gods, and goddesses.

New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-135024-5. Briggs, K. M. (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures. Random House. ISBN 0-394-73467-X.

The World Serpent Jörmungandr

Norse Storm god Thor was fishing with the giant Hymir. Unfortunately for Hymir he refused to provide Thor with bait, Thor smacks the head off Hymir’s largest ox to use as his bait. They row to a point where Hymir often sat and caught flat fish, where he reeled up two whales, but Thor demands to go further out to sea, and does so despite Hymir’s warnings.

Thor then assembles a strong line and a large hook and baits it with the ox head, which Jörmungandr bites. Thor pulls the serpent from the water, and the two face one another, Jörmungandr dribbling venom and blood. Fearful, Hymir turns a whiter shade of pale, and as Thor grabs his hammer to kill the serpent, the giant cuts the line, leaving the Sea serpent to sink beneath the waves.


Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Sea Serpent in this picture from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.

According to Norse mythology in The Prose Edda, the final battle between the sea serpent and Thor will occur at Ragnarök, at a future date. At this time, Jörmungandr will rise out of the sea and poison the sky. Thor will slay Jörmungandr and then walk nine paces before falling dead, having been poisoned by the serpent’s venom.

Thor_und_die_MidgardsschlangeArt above: Thor and the Midgard Serpent, Emil Doepler painting.


Written by Nifty Brýn Buckles©2018


Sources and Reference:


  • Sørensen, Preben M. (2002). “Þorr’s Fishing Expedition (Hymiskviða)”. In Acker, Paul; Larrington, Carolyne. The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Mythology. Williams, Kirsten (trans.). Routledge. pp. 119–138. ISBN 0-8153-1660-7.


  • Snorri Sturluson; Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist (transl.) (1916). Prose Edda. The American-Scandinavian Foundation.



Nature in Sami Folklore

Have you heard of The Sami people of Lapland?
They inhabit an area known as Sápmi, a pagan polytheistic religion, which covers regions of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, as well as the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.
Below photo of traditional Sami people with Reindeer. public domain


The Reindeer in Sami folklore:

The Sami folk of Lapland are known to be semi-nomadic reindeer herders. The Sami people tell traditional tales handed down by their elders, one particular tale is of a golden-horned reindeer that if caught by a hunter will wreak havoc on the world and usher in a global pandemonium. According to Sami folklore, there is a tale that mentions the marriage of the Sun god Radien’s daughter Beaivi-nieida (goddess of healing and medicine), to a Sami man. This Sun goddess has her own special dowry of multiple reindeer which she grants to the Nordic people, after marrying the Sami man.

Ibmel & Jubmel:
In Sami language, god/godess and deity are two different words: From Stockfleth (1852): “god” is in Northern Sami “Ibmel” and in Swedish- and Southern Sami “Jubmel” or “Ibmal”. ”deity” is in Northern Sami “ibmelvuot” and in Swedish- and Southern Sami “jubmelvuot”.

Photos below: Sami shamanic drum in the Arctikum museum, in Rovaniemi, Finland

sami drum



The Sami drum represents The Great Mother Goddess Materakka, the mother of creation. Check out these interesting Sami drum depictions at Old Sami drums

The Samis considered the Sun as a divine being, claiming the heat and rays represent the daughter of the sun, which they call Salaneide, only she has the power to end the cold winter and the snowfall.

Another popular Spring nature deity is the goddess Rana Niejta, the goddess of spring and fertility. According to Sami mythology, she turned the mountains southwards green, so that famished reindeer had an abundance of food.


Above Photo: Rana Niejta in a park in Mo i Rana in the municipality of Rana in Northern Norway.

Rana Niejta, is the goddess of spring and fertility. According to Sami mythology, she turned the mountains southwards green, so that famished reindeer had an abundance of food.

There is also Sala Niejta who has the power to end the snow and the cold, while Rana Niejta made it possible for trees and herbs to grow and flourish anew every year. 

Norwegian Sami artist Mari Boine in Warszawa, September 2007. Photo shown below by Henryk Kotowski, 2007. Wikimedia Commons.


Mari_Boine2_Warszawa_Sep2007. Photo by Henryk Kotowski, 2007.


-Written by Nifty Buckles©2018


Source and Reference:

Sami culture and mythology, WikiCommons and Wikipedia

Pussy Willow Folklore

pussy willow folklore

The many buds of the pussy willow make it a favorite flower for Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year). The fluffy white blossoms of the pussy willow are similar to silk, and they spring young shoots a green jade color.


According to Chinese tradition, this represents the coming of prosperity. In the Lunar New Year period in spring, stalks of the plant may be bought from the markets.

Once they are unbundled within one’s residence, the stalks are frequently decorated with gold and red ornaments—ornaments with colors that signify prosperity and happiness.


Picture below Old German Easter postcard. Public Domain.



Source and Reference:

Chinese parade fruit and flowers Chinese parade

Wikipedia: Pussy Willows

Puffins in Folklore

When we think of Puffins we visualize a funny, colorful bird wearing a small clown costume. Did you know that Puffins appeared in the thirteenth century Icelandic book Snorra-Edda? Puffins are called lundi by Icelanders and refers to lend, meaning ( lower back and hips) and lund ( muscle that parallels the spine.)

Puffin art by J. Dawson 1980.


The Puffin/lundi were once hunted for food and they were hit over the head with large clubs. The Puffin population was dwindling much like the now extinct Dodo bird. Historically, the Dodo was a non-flying bird that lived on the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It became extinct in the mid seventeenth century during the colonization of the island by the Dutch.

John Tenniel’s illustration of the Dodo in “A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale”. An illustration from Alice in Wonderland. Public Domain


According to Icelandic folklore, Puffins or lundi are able to predict stormy weather. They will fly onto the land two to three days before a gale. Many fishermen would watch the Puffins/lundi to see where they dove into the water, this was a sure sign that many fish were located at that site.

In Inuit culture some tribes would collect Puffin bills and create a musical instrument called “a shaker,” that had magical powers to heal the sick.

The Irish revered the Puffin and would not eat them. The Puffin was believed to be a sacred bird that the reincarnated souls of monks dwelt in them.

According to Scottish folklore back in the nineteenth century a man that was a bit daft was named a Tammie-Norrie, which is a pet name of a Puffin/lundi. In Cornish folklore King Arthur was a reincarnated Raven or Puffin. Legend says King Arthur would appear in said forms to his favorite places.

Photo: Puffins  (public domain)



Source and Reference:

Petersen, Aevar (1976). “Size variables in puffins Fratercula arctica from Iceland, and bill features as criteria of age. Ornis Scandinavica. 7 (2): 185–192. doi:10.2307/3676188. JSTOR 3676188.

Lockwood, W. B. (1993). The Oxford Dictionary of British Bird Names. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-866196-2.