Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tomte (红帽小矮人)

-By Mr. Bjerstedt

Title: The tomte
Notetaker: Levi Johansson
Messenger: Johanna Sundström
Year: 1915
Parish/Town: Nordingrå

In my childhood a lot was spoken about people here in the area that had a tomte.
Some people had seen him on the straw floor. It was a little man in a red hat.
They said, that on the farm they had a room that was solely meant for the tomte. Every night they were supposed to put out food for him in the room. If you forgot to do this one night, the tomte flew around from room to room and slammed the doors and was rude until he got his food. So it was believed. I knew those people very well. The elders believed, that the tomte only had one eye in the middle of the forehead and that it was as large as a saucer.

[The last part about the eye is mentioned in some other of these texts. This is however, something I had never heard before reading these stories from Norrland, so this is likely a local belief.]

Title: Yes, the smiths did believe in tomtar.
Notetaker: Carl-Herman Tillhagen
Messenger: P.E. Bergström
Year: 1936
Parish/Town: Torp

Yes, the smiths did believe in tomtar. They never saw any, as far as I know, but surely they did exist. They used to feed them there, throw some bits behind the wheel. One time a servant, that was trying to learn to play the fiddle sat and ate in the smithy, and like the others, threw a bone behind the wheel, but it was too well gnawed. He heard a voice saying: “You gave me a bone that was clean. You will be able to tune, but never to play.” And the boy never learned to play.

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