Article by Fanney Ingvadóttir: The Hidden People, also known as Huldufólk or Elves, and Dwarves are mythical beings deeply ingrained in Icelandic folklore and beliefs. They are believed to be supernatural entities that coexist with humans in a parallel, invisible world.
The belief in the existence of Hidden People is widespread among the Icelandic population, although the degree of belief and understanding varies from person to person and likely from generation to generation.
The belief in Hidden People, Dwarves, and other mythical beings can be traced back to Iceland's rich cultural heritage and its deep connection to nature. Iceland has a unique and awe-inspiring landscape, with vast stretches of untouched wilderness and rugged terrains. This untamed environment, coupled with the country's isolation, darkness in winter, and small population, has fostered a sense of wonder and mysticism.
One reason why people believe in the existence of Hidden People and Dwarves is the prevalence of firsthand accounts and encounters. Numerous Icelanders claim to have seen or interacted with these beings, often describing them as ethereal and elusive. These encounters are often passed down through generations as oral traditions, further reinforcing the belief in their existence.
Another contributing factor is the cultural and societal acceptance of belief in the supernatural. In Iceland, stories of Elves, Dwarves and Hidden People are not dismissed as mere fairy tales or legends but are treated with respect and seriousness. The belief in Hidden People is deeply rooted in the collective consciousness of the Icelandic people, and it is not uncommon for individuals, even those who may not personally believe, to show reverence and respect for these mythical beings.
The belief in Hidden People also serves as a way to explain natural phenomena and protect Iceland's natural environment. Hidden People are often associated with specific natural landmarks, such as rocks, caves, or waterfalls. They are believed to be the guardians of nature, and their presence is seen as a sign of environmental sanctity. Many Icelanders view the respect and protection of these hidden realms as essential for maintaining ecological balance and preserving the country's pristine landscapes.
It is widely acknowledged that the heritage of our ancestors holds great value. Throughout generations, oral stories have been passed down, recounting tales of mystical spells lingering in certain locations or hidden creatures residing within specific rocks. When road construction ventures into such places, there has been a tradition of halting the construction to allow these hidden creatures to move or give their permission to proceed. It was commonly believed that proceeding without their consent could lead to unfortunate consequences for the construction project. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) has encountered many instances where a project plan had to be slightly altered in respect of the supernatural!