|The Fairy Tree by Richard Doyle|
Icelandic hidden people from huldu, pertaining to
secrecy, and folk, people, are one of the 13 types
of elves in Iceland. Their dwellings are in mounds,
and they are also called elves. Official opposition to
dancing may have begun in Iceland as early as the
12th century, and the association of dancing with elves
can be seen as early as the 15th century. One folktale
shows the elves siding with the common people and
taking revenge on a sheriff who banned dance parties.
"The Huldufólk are... not so much supernatural as
ultranatural, representing not an overcoming of nature
in the hope of a better deal beyond but a deep reverence
for the land and the mysterious powers able to cause
fertility or famine."
Although there is not a common origin on their
true nature or shape, it is broadly accepted that these
beings live in the underworld and keep a close relation
with natural elements. Many Icelandic sources describe
them as quite similar to humans... according to the
descriptions from the ones whom have been able to see them.
"The Nickur, Ninnir, and Hnikur, one of the Eddaic
names of Odin. He appears always in the form of a fine
apple-grey horse on the seashore;
but he may be distinguished from ordinary horses by the
circumstance of his hoofs being reversed. If any one is so
foolish as to mount him, he gallops off, and plunges into
the sea with his burden. He can, however, be caught in a
particular manner, tamed, and made to work."