Friday, December 17, 2010

a little scandinavian folklore
a tomte spotted in our maine woods. hand-made figure crafted in sweden by rolf berg.
this tiny, 4 inch tall gnome, is called a tomte in swedish and a nisse in norwegian and danish. he is a mythical character in scandinavian folklore; gnomes are related to fairies. my of-norwegian-descent friend got me thinking about the tomte/nisse when she commented on my fairy brunch post.. she knows her norwegian folklore.

this is what i know about him. if anyone wants to add more, please do. the tomte is small and magical and has a long white or gray beard. he usually dresses in a gray clothing and always wears a brightly colored (often red) knitted hat. a house and farm tomte is a solitary fellow who is in charge of protecting a farmer's house and barn. he is very good at his job. if you have a tomte around, you must not EVER forget to leave something for him to eat (he is a vegetarian) to thank him for his protection. at christmas, the tomte especially likes a bowl of oatmeal. if you fail to take care of him (extremely unwise), he will leave your farm unguarded. even worse, he might tip things over or break things, OR even tie your cows tails together! ghastly!

so, if you have a tomte/nisse in residence, please feed him, and DO NOT FORGET the oatmeal at christmas!

wishing you all a splendid weekend!

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