From Iceland — Monster Of The Month: Ljósálfur, The Light-Elf

Monster Of The Month: Ljósálfur, The Light-Elf

Published May 4, 2016

Photo by
Árngrimur Sigurðsson

“Elves are the noblest and most distinguished of all earthly creatures. Their similarity to us humans is such that when one hears of light-elves—that most gentle breed of elves—one can not help but think that they are our long-dead kinsmen and forefathers, reborn in this world on a higher plane of existence. Such is their resemblance to men, yet they are more perfect. According to Snorri Sturluson’s ‘Prose Edda’, the elves live in an abode in heaven called Álfheim: “There dwell the folk that are called light-elves; but the dark-elves dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike the light-elves in appearance, but much more so in deeds. The light-elves are fairer than the sun to look upon, but the dark-elves are blacker than pitch.”

Source: Sigfús Sigfússon, Íslenzkar þjóðsögur og sagnir IV, bls 9

Duldýrasafnið Arngrimur Sigurdsson

Our Monster of the Month comes from the project Duldýrasafnið (“Hidden Beings Museum”) by Arngrimur Sigurðsson. He takes firsthand accounts of creature sightings, like the one above, from Icelandic historical texts, and creates a painting of each one. An Icelandic book is out now, and an English language book is coming soon. Read our interview with the artist here.

See more monsters here.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!