Advocates for Elfen rights and environmentalists have combined to fight a new highway project for the Alftanes Peninsula in Iceland, linking the area to the capital, Reykjavik. They fear that building the road and the road itself will disturb the habitat of the ‘huldufólk‘ – the hidden folk – and that the area contains an elf church. The move is not without precedent – Huldufólk are elves in Icelandic folklore and building projects in Iceland are sometimes altered to prevent damaging the rocks where they are believed to live. According to these Icelandic folk beliefs, one should never throw stones because of the possibility of hitting the huldufólk. In 1982, 150 Icelanders went to the NATO base in Keflavík to look for “elves who might be endangered by American Phantom jets and AWACS reconnaissance planes.” In 2004, Alcoa had to have a government expert certify that their chosen building site was free of archaeological sites, including ones related to huldufólk folklore, before they could build an aluminium smelter in Iceland. The road project has been halted whilst Iceland’s Supreme Court rules on the case brought by the group, called the Friends of Lava. In a 1975 survey, over half of Icelandic people thought that the existence of huldufólk was possible (33%), probable (15%) or certain (7%) and 17% had no opinion.
Can we wish all of our readers, volunteers, festivals and friends and very very Happy Christmas, and a peaceful, prosperous and happy 2014.
Amie, Ben, Claire, Helen, Jarno and Luke.