Mgr. BcA. Darina Hlinková


photographer, university teacher, PhD student and now trainee in Reykjavík Museum of Photography
living in Brno (Czech Republic), now staying in Reykjavík:-)
trained in NY by american phototherapists Ellen Fisher Trunk and Dina Veksler
focused on adult and elderly education, stage and fashion photography and photo therapy

Elves and Trolls

The Wife of Burstafell
The wife of Burstafell had very strange dream.
The unknown man came to her and told her to go with him. Near the Burstafell land, she entered a house, which was under a huge boulder. There was a woman in this house who had huge difficulties with her delivery. The man asked the wife of Burstafell to help her, unless she died. The wife of Burstafell started to pray and finally helped her to give birth to a baby. Afterwards the wife was asked to wash a baby and she was given a jar with special ointment for baby´s eyes. Accidentally, she touched her own left eye during this procedure too. The man gave the wife of Burstaffel the finest velvet covered with gold as his thanks.
When the wife woke up, she found the velvet with gold under her pillow. After few days, she felt, something has changed with her left eye. She was now able to see everything that happened on the earth. She realized how is everything different from what it appeared to be. She saw different people using more practical methods and understanding nature better, she saw a hidden world.
One day she went to town and suddenly saw a woman she helped with delivery. She realized that nobody talked to that woman. She was happy to meet her again and said hi to her. The woman looked very angry and without any words she touched wife´s right eye. From that the wife could´n see hidden worlds like before.
Strange substitution
It happened on a certain farm one summer. Everybody was working in the fields, only mother stayed at home with her three year old son. The son was very promising child, clever and nice.
It came, that mother left his son alone just for a while, because she had to do some household. When she returned after a while, child was crying, being very angry. From that time her son was different. Child behaved aggressive and stopped growing up. Woman was very unhappy, so she visited the old wise woman living nearby. When wise woman heard the story she realized that the son was exchanged while he was alone. Wise woman advised mother to leave the child unattended again and make sure he discover something weird, never seen thing, some kind of novelty.
Mother came back home and created a strange installation in the kitchen, using pots and broomsticks. She took a boy and let him stay in the kitchen. After a short while she saw the son speaking to himself: “I am so old and never seen such a weird thing.” After his strange words she realized that this was really not her child. She started to beat him very angrily.
Suddenly a strange woman came in her house and said:” We are so different! I look after your child so carefully and you beat my husband!” So she was saying, she put down mother´s son and left with her husband.
There was a farmer who lived near mountains in the South. He was very unhappy because his wife was enormously lazy. He started to be fed up with her. He gave her a huge amount of wool and told her to work it into cloth until the end of winter. But wife didn´t really care about his wish.
One day old strange woman came to their house and ask for charity. The wife asked her to do her a favor. “Work wool into clothes” she said. The old woman promised to bring wool clothes during the first day in summer, but wanted from the wife to tell her old woman´s secret name on the third guess. The wife agreed happily because she didn´t have to work.
The winter was nearly at the end and the wife realized she has no chance to find out the old woman´s name. She started to be depressed and frightened. Her husband saw that his wife was different. The wife told him finally the whole story with old lady. Husband started to be scared because he knew it was no doubt troll who intended to abduct his wife.
One day farmer was going through mountains and he heard weird noise. He saw old strange being singing for itself a song containing name Gilitrutt. He remembered a name and told his wife.
The first day in summer the old woman came and asked for her name. Wife firstly tried Signy, then Ása. The old woman started to dance from her joy because these names were wrong. After that she took her last chance and said Gilitrutt. The old lady got such a shock that she fell headlong on the floor and then left quickly. They had never seen her again.
Since then, his wife was so grateful and became very industrious and efficient.
Katlin´s dream
There was a woman, named Katla, in one village in the South. One day she fell asleep and nobody managed to wake her up. She was sleeping permanently for four days, her servants though she was dead. After four days she woke up, but was totally different. Katla was more silent and distanced.
Her husband started to be very upset with her, so she described him all her dream. She dreamed that a strange woman, looking very rich, elegant and beautiful, came to her. She asked Katla to accompany her to her boat. Then she convinced Katla to go with her to her huge and beautiful farm. After Katla entered the main room of the farm, servants brought her golden dress and fur with jewels. Then she went into a hall where the other eight women were sitting, also dressed very rich and extraordinary. In the main corner of the hall, there was a man, relaxing on golden pillows. When he saw her, he invited her to share his place with him and to marry him. Katla didn´t want because she already had had one husband, but he replied if she refused, she would have very unhappy life. She had no way how to escape, so finally she agreed. After two days, the man told Katla, she would have a son with him and he wanted name him Kári. Then he gave her jewelry, golden belt and knife for his son and Katla was sent back home. On her way back, she heard a terrible noise how the heart of the man broke.
After some time, Katla gave birth to very beautiful baby. Her husband respected her wish and named him Kári. They lived happily ever after.
There was a man, named Jón. When he died, people started to gossip about him many stories, because he was educated and knew a lot also about black magic. There is a story that when Jón was young, he was a shepherd. While shepherding, he met a girl, who told him that her father had a book in which were written all the secrets from the world. Jón was very interested in such a book, so he started to date with the girl to get this book.
After few days, girl brought Jón father´s book, but she told him that he had to give the book back in two weeks. The book consisted many magic and wisdom, so Jón decided not to give this book back. Girl was very frightened and told him that her life is now in danger because her father would be very angry, when he realized the book was gone. But Jón didn´t care.
Not much time later, Jón had very strange dream. A man came to him and told him, that Íma´s father planned to kill him. A man described Jón the whole plan of the murder. Surprisingly, he would be one of the four killers. He came to warn him, because he didn´t want to live anymore. He told him his life story – when he was a child, elves kidnapped him and he had to live with them since then.
The murder day came. Jón was prepared, waiting near door wit axe. At midnight came the man, Íma´s father, Íma´s mother and Íma herself. Jón, according to former advice, killed them all and put the bodies outside of the house before morning.
There was a man called Geir. One day came very hard working girl to his farm. Nobody knew her, she came from nowhere. She was the best of his workers, working all the time, cleaning everything and being very nice. He liked her very much but he could´t stand that she was not going to the church. He always left her alone at Christmas Eve, while he went to a church.
One year he decided to control the girl. He pretended he had left to church while stayed in his farm. He saw she was really working very hard. When she was done, she went to a barn and redressed into golden, very expensive dress. Then she put a red fur on her hand and left the farm. She was running for quite a long time until she reached a swamp. She put a fur on a swamp and started to decrease. Geir jump on a corner of the red fur while she was going through the smoke, so she didn´t realize that he was going with her.
After a while they got to the green hill with huge farm. There were a couple of servants waiting for Una. Everybody from hidden people was welcoming her. Then they started to celebrate, there was a lot of food served on golden plates, musicians were playing different instruments and hidden people were dancing. Geir took a part of a sparerib from the table, never seen such a huge.
In the morning, Una decided she had to go back. She jumped on the red fur and Geir spied her immediately.
After few days, Geir was eating meal, Una prepared. He put a sparerib on the table, when she left to the kitchen for drink. When she came back, Geir said: “I have never seen such a huge sparerib!” When Una saw it, she turned pale, left and never came back.
Elves and Helga
In past times, there was a couple, living in farm in West, having two daughters. Parents liked more the older daughter. Their younger daughter, named Helga, they ignored. The farm was cursed. Every year at Christmas Eve, person who stayed at farm was murdered, while the rest people were in the church. People started to be scared and nobody wanted to work at the farm.
One year, the day before Christmas Eve, parents said Helga to stay at farm. They thought there would not be any pity if she died.
Helga cleaned all household and started to cook while a child came to her house and asked for a small piece of meat. Helga was generous and gave him bigger piece. Child thanked her and disappeared.
When was Helga done with all her work, she went to bed and started to read. She was reading just for a while when many unknown people started to enter her room, it was such a huge amount that it seemed they are everywhere. They were dancing, singing, speaking loudly and celebrating. Helga pretended she didn´t care.
When she went to milk the cows, the huge man stopped her, wanted to make fun with him. She refused him strictly. After a while a beautiful rich dresses woman came to her and thanked her for her kindness and loyalty. She said that the child was her own and the man was her husband. Helga received a gift by the woman. It was a wedding dress and jewelry belt. Woman also told her, that Helga would be happy for the rest of her life and would marry a bishop.
In the morning, all the elves suddenly disappeared and Helga stayed alone at house again. When parents came back, they were very surprised, she was not dead. When Helga´s mother and sister realized what she received from elf they were very upset and decided next Christmas Eve stay at home.
The year after, the child came again to their house asking for meat. Helga´s mother kicked him out, being very angry. In the morning, when people came back from church to farm, they found both, mother and sister, dead.
Helga lived for a while at that farm and finally she married a bishop.
Elfwoman from the lake Ullarvatn
In the east of Iceland, near the lake Ullarvatn, there lived a rich farmer with his son Sigurður. Their shepherds started disappearing in the mountains, nobody couldn´t find them and nobody found their dead bodies.
Sigurður decided to find the people. He was going quite far, searching for them everywhere, didn´t meet anybody.
Once he met a strange girl, behaving very friendly to him. Her name was Vandráð and she had known Sigurður already. She told him that she also knew the disappeared men and his father. Sigurður was very surprised. Suddenly Vandráð told him, he would die, if didn´t stay with her.
So Sigurður had to live with her, hated her very much but didn´t show any of his feelings.
Sigurður´s father was very unhappy, that he had lost his son, didn´t know anything about him. One day, when father was going to bed, the elfwoman came to him in a dream and said that Sigurður lived with her, going to marry her.
Three years the father had no dreams about his son. Suddenly, his son came to him in dream and asked him to come to his farm and to take pastor with him.
When father and pastor reached the farm, they found woman sitting with her children in a main room. The pastor said: “Bless you!” The elfwoman started to behave like crazy. When she wanted to escape, the pastor caught her and started to pray. She was asking him to stop, then being very angry and after she fell in coma.
When the next day came, they all moved back to the father´s farm. After few days, the elfwoman wake up from coma. She became a nice woman and their children were really gifted. It was very strong and extraordinary dynasty. People said that many bishops are from this family, but they strictly refused it.
It was said in past times, when you sit on the crossroad at Christmas Eve, you can see elves coming from all sides. They invite you to go with them, but you have to be silent. They start to bring you different jewelry, gold or silver, food or expensive dresses, but you mustn´t take it. Then elfwomen come in a face of your mother or sister and start to try to convince you to go with them, but you should stay. When the morning comes, you have to say: “Bless God for the morning!” If you do so, elves disappear and you can take all the treasures they left there. If you didn´t resist, elves witchcraft you and you never be the same as before...
One night a man came on the crossroad, his name was Flosi. When elfwoman came to him and offered him bacon, he couldn´t resist and he bit it. Flosi started to dance and finally got mad.
Kristín from Hof
In a farm, there was a young kind girl, named Kristín, working very hard. Her wish was to see the elves. One day, she went to mountains with her sheep. When she fell asleep, she saw a beautiful woman telling her: “I know you wish so long to meet us. So you see me, I am one of them. Anyway, your sheep is running away.” Suddenly, the girl woke up and saw her sheep running far away.
Another day, when Kristín was working in the kitchen, the elf woman came to her again, asking for milk. Kristín gave her full bowl and told her to come whenever she wanted again. Elf woman was very pleased so she told Kristín to call her when needed.
Some time passed and Kristín become unfortunately seriously ill. She thought one night: “I wish the elf woman came to me and helped me.” In the morning, she found a small bottle near her bed with a red liquid inside. She drank it every evening until the bottle was empty and became healthy again.
Helga and Sigríður
Helga and Sigríður were sisters. Their brother met one day a fisherman who wanted to marry one of them. The both were beautiful and kind but Sigríður was more gifted, so he decided to marry her. Sigríður wasn´t very happy about that but finally she agreed. The fisherman wanted to live with her at his farm far away from their house.
When they were traveling through the mountains to his farm, there started to be more and more fog. Sigríður got lost. Suddenly, unknown man took her, carried her to his house and let her stay in a room. After while a servant came into the room and gave Sigríður new clothes. When Sigríður woke up after short dream, she saw again unknown man, sitting near her. She was frightened, so she gave him a remove. After he had left, a few monsters started to appear in a room. She was scared, but suddenly, unknown boy came to her with Bible, advised her to carry it on her breast. He also added:” Be kind to my brother more!”
Next morning, servant came again with new, more beautiful dress. In the evening, the unknown man came again, but she wanted to stab him with knife, so he left. After that the monsters started attack her again, so she took a Bible and prayed. Monsters disappeared and boy came to her with advice: “Behave to my brother nicer or you´ll die.”
The day after, there was the same ritual. Servant came with the most beautiful dress Sigríður had ever seen. At night, the unknown man came again and Sigríður pretended she wasn´t scared and was sleeping.
In the morning, the unknown man came again, red dressed, thanked her for staying with him at night. He wanted to marry her. He opened a chest full of gold and jewelry and gave her a ring. Sigríður was very satisfied, started to live with him and became his wife.
After a few months, Sigríður was interested, how was her sister. Her husband took her to the well and gave her a mirror to hold it upper the well to see her sister. When Sigríður looked into a mirror, she saw her sister with fisherman, how he grated her hair and moved with her on the floor. Sigríður understood how unhappy her sister had to be. So he asked her man to bring the sister to their place. And so he did, also with her parents, so they all settled in that valley and live there happily until they died.
How Elves were created
God tells Adam that he is coming to visit him and Eve and their fourteen children. Eve starts bathing the kids so that they will be clean when god arrives. However she only manages to bathe seven of them before god knocks on their door. She hides the dirty children so that god wont see them. When god comes in he asks where the other children are. Eve says that there are no other children. God ofcourse knows better and says that if god cant see her dirty children then no one can. And so, Eves dirty children became invisible and those were the first elves created.
Story of Helga
Once there were three sisters who were called Ása, Signý and Helga. The two older sisters where always expecting elegant and rich men to come and propose to them, they thought very highly of themselves. It was common knowledge that Helga was the most beautiful and promising, but she was always left out, and wore poor clothes. Once there came a beautiful women to Ása and told her she could be as beautiful, if she only did everything she told her to. They walked to a hill and walked directly into it. The woman asked Ása to spin a web with many colours, but she did not know how to spin so she ruined it. Next she was asked to milk the cows, but as she had finished rats, mice and a big ugly cat appeared and she gat mad and hit them with her apron. After that the woman gave her a little box, and told her not to open it until her wedding day. Signý got jealous of her sister and also wanted to meet this woman, so she went to the same place as her sister, and everything happened the same way as with Ása. The two sisters were very happy about their little boxes. Word spread about the boxes, people believed they were treasures. Many men proposed to them, but at last they chose two rich men. Then one day Helga was out walking and met the beautiful woman who put the same tests before her, as she did to her sisters. She span the web very well, and then when she was milking the cows and the mice and rats appeared, she was gentle with them and stroke them. Then the woman led her into a room where a man and children were standing. She told Helga that she had freed her husband and children from a curse, and gave her a little box as well. One day a nice man came to visit Helga and he proposed to her, she accepted even though he was poor. Then one day the three of them were to be married, and they all opened their boxes. From the older sisters’ boxes came snakes that bit them so they got so ugly that no one wanted to marry them. In Helga’s box were jewels and diamonds, silver and gold. She put the jewels on and became the most beautiful bride. She married her man and they were very happy and successful.
Snotra the Elfwoman
A man called Jón lived at Nesi by Borgarfjörð. His wife was called Snotra and nobody knew who her family was. She was a beautiful and a wise woman but quiet and didn´t talk much. They had one daughter. There was one strange thing about Snotra´s behavior, each Christmas Eve she would disappear and return Christmas Day.
For a while nobody went prying until one shepherd deicited to follow her one Christmas Eve. When everybody were asleep Snotra walked out to the sea. The shepherd saw that she had two silkscarfs, she threw one away but put the other one over her head and threw her self in the sea.
He took the silkscarf Snotra left behind and followed her. They floted for a while until they came to green land. Not far away the shepherd saw a beautiful city. Snotra walked to the city. She walked in to a palace which was full of people and food. Everyone celebrated loudly as she walked in. But the man who celebrated the loudest was the man who sat at the throne. Snotra took a seat by his side. The shepherd hid. Everyone at the palace ate, drank and danced the whole night. The shepherd was able to get a bit of food and kept one bone. The next day everyone were really sad when Snotra left, but the saddest one was the man who sat at the throne the night before. Snotra and the shepherd went the same way home. When they came back to the beach Snotra asked what he was doing. The shepherd told her he had followed her. She didin´t belive him. But then he showed her the bone and she understood that he told the truth.
She told him he had broken the curse. She had to live in the human world and stay there my whole life except every Christmas Eve she was allowed to stay in the elf world. The man who sat at the throne was the king and her husband. The curse would only be broken if a human man dared to follow her to the elfworld and see her world. Now since he has helped her she can go back to her world and stay with her husband. Shepherd was a fortunate man. Jón, her human husband died soon from grief of losing her. She asked him to take care of her daughter and he did so.

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