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Elves (folklore)

Elves (folklore)

An elf (plural: elves) is a type of supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. Elves are first attested in Old English and Old Norse texts and are prominent in traditional British and Scandinavian folklore.

 

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Delaney Butler

Delaney Butler

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Odin is the original wizard and is the role model for Tolkien's Gandalf; "Gandalf" itself is a byname for Odin that translates to "wand-elf" or "staff-elf" - the mystical figure who wanders the roads with his walking-stick. One of the most central aspects of the god in the Norse conception is as a seeker after wisdom.

Article: ODIN & THE RUNES, Part Tw...
Source: The Norse Mythology Blog

In the most obvious example of this appropriation, celebrations of the Winter Solstice were overwritten with celebrations of Christ’s birth. Elves of the natural world and the female land-goddesses known as Landdísir were transformed into saints, and the protective family spirits called Hamingja or Fylgja became guardian angels.

Article: THE CLASH WITH CHRISTIANI...
Source: The Norse Mythology Blog

However, people with Williams syndrome also tend to be very verbal and extraordinarily sociable. That, together with their characteristic elfin faces and starburst-patterned irises, cause some to speculate that people with Williams syndrome inspired folktales about elves and other magical people.

Article: PBS - Scientific American...
Source: PBS

Fairy tales tell of wee folk who spend their lives singing and dancing. A rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome lends scientific support to the legends

Article: Williams Syndrome: It's N...
Source: National Public Radio

It is not unlikely that the conception of a dwarf-folk originally arose from contact with a prehistoric people of inferior physical development, like the Pygmies of Central Africa. The idea is common to nearly all countries, and is too persistent to be merely traditional. Moreover, discoveries of dwarfish remains in many lands substantiate the theory.

Article:   A Dictionary of Non-Class…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

So their favour had to be gained, and at certain seasons offerings were made to them, and as they appear to have sometimes sought aid from mortals, any service that could be rendered them was readily accorded.

Article:   A Dictionary of Non-Class…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

In Norse mythology the Alfar, or elves, were divided into two categories. The Ljosalfar, or light elves, lived in forests, while the Döckálfar, or dark elves, lived in mountains.

Article:   Gods, Goddesses, and Myth…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The relative lack of information about the elves in the mythology is made more tantalizing by the references retained in medieval Icelandic tradition to the Álfablót. In recent Scandinavian folklore elves are important as supernatural nature beings in Danish and Icelandic tradition.

Article:   Norse Mythology: A Guide …
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Although originally ambivalent in character, elves were gradually demonized under the influence of Christianity. Thus, in the medical texts, remedies against elves and demons, partly medical, partly liturgical, were grouped together or intertwined.

Article:   Religion, Science, and Ma…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The formula "æsir and elves" is a commonplace in eddic poetry, and as Ragnarök approaches in Völuspá, the seeress asks "What's with the æsir? / What's with the elves?" This same line is echoed in Thrymskvida. Despite this usage, however, and despite the appearance of the elves in other lists of mythological beings, such as those in Alvíssmál, where vocabulary items of the mythological races are cataloged, little concrete is known about them.

Article:   Norse Mythology: A Guide …
Source:  Offline Book/Journal
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