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Ethnology is a big interest of mine and therefore it happens that I translate some tales that suit my fancy when I'm feeling a bit bored, or upon request. Since they have grown in amount over time I thought I could just as well make a post collecting the links to all of them in one place.

All the tales and legends are from Sweden, my native country. Since I usually describe where the story comes from by Swedish geography, that is the historical provinces of the country, you might want to check out this map.


Learning is Good but Enough is Best

The Priest and the Precentor

Golden Apples with Silver Leaves


The Swedish word for legends is sägner. A sägen is a tale that, unlike a fairy- or folktale, people believed to be true. It was often rather short, or seemingly trivial, or used to explain a name, event or phenomenon.

I'm working on a "project" (more like a rule to help me decide what stories to translate, really) where I pick a legend from each of Sweden's historical provinces. Those have their own subcategory, and I will fill them in one after another.


The Crossdressing Maid - Called so by me since it's about the custom of wearing men's clothes as protection.

Kersti of Röckla - A legend about trolls and childbirth from Småland.

The Knight of Elleholm - A bit of an unorthodox Christmas tale.

The Stockholm Bloodbath - A couple of legends surrounding this notorious event in Swedish history.

By province:

Blekinge - About "Kabbelgatt-Nisse", the spirit of ships.
Bohuslän - A (originally Norwegian) legend about a priest who rode the Devil to preaching practise.
Dalsland - About the daughter of a priest who knew some ill tricks.
Gotland - In which supernatural seduction leads to quite dire consequences.
Halland - A Danish Queen practises some unusual war tactics.
Närke - Shows what happens when you anger a tomte.
Skåne - Featuring a brave woman and a haunted inn.
Småland - The tragic tale of a knight and his banishment.
Västergötland - A legend about the inevitability of Fate.
Öland - A couple of giants' attempt to build a bridge leaves lasting impressions on the landscape.
Östergötland - A dead man's hunting luck is revealed to be the result of several amorous adventures.


A list of names for ghosts and other creatures of death in Swedish folklore

A post with folk tale illustrations by Swiss-Swedish artist Hans Arnold

A short excerpt from a text on the use of snakes in love magic.

Human blood as a cure for disease

Hammers in Norse religion and Scandinavian folklore


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Must spend one full day reading these....
and then clicking all the links and then looking up more details about them.

It's awsome that you translated these. Thanks so much
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
It probably won't take that long, just an hour or two. xD

No problem, 's what I do.
Aug. 16th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)


Thank youuvm! =u=
I actually borrowed a big mighty book on Swedish folklore but I'll read this too~ <3
Aug. 16th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
No problem! *Is squished*

I have an entire shelf dedicated to Nordic folklore (and another one for folklore from other countries 8D), I COULD SURPASS YOUR BIG MIGHTY BOOK IF I WANTED TO-- I mean, enjoy. =w=
Randolph Scott
Feb. 23rd, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
Hej fran Australie

I am collecting stories as a homeschooling thing for my little daughter. Im trying to read most sagen/folktales and take all the violence and gore out of them but keep the moral or virtues/teachings :)

Asbjornen and Moe I have an copy of, some obscure Arctic tales (which require considerable understanding of the people/story tellers themselves), plus of course Grimm (although those tales are very diluted). And Hans Christian although he is not as the old tales where written.

I was wondering if you would be nice enough to give me a list or ideas on some of the books you have?

Thank you and hoe this gets through to you.

Tack sa mycket.


Jan. 16th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
provides access
Hey – nice blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using. I’m currently using Wordpress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:11 am (UTC)
Re: provides access
LiveJournal, you mean? I've been here for more than three years now, and what it works best as is a social medium. The ability to lock entries and overall limit unwanted accesability was something I found useful, as this is mainly a personal journal where I write about personal things. All of this without isolating myself, seeing as I am active in several communities.

The only real downside is something that has surfaced more recetntly, and that is the amount of spam. It's not as bad as it could be, but considering how clean the site used to be a couple of years ago it still annoys me.
Apr. 30th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Here's a totally out-of-the-blue question for you:

Have you ever come across a legend or folktale that "explains" why there are so many islands along the coast of Sweden?

I've been searching online for references to any such story, and your site came up on Google -- so since I'm already on LJ, I thought I might as well ask! ;-)
Apr. 30th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
I can't think of any specific ones from the top of my head; there's a common theme that landscapes and landmarks have been created by giants, but these kind of stories often refer to only one specific place or area. So I'm afraid I can't be of much help there.
Apr. 30th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you anyway! (And I'm enjoying the other tales you've posted. :-))
Jul. 19th, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
Здравствуйте. Мне интересно, кроме коренных шведов в Швеции ещё другие народы, живущие в Швеции? Я знаю, что есть финны и саамы (Samer). И много ли их у вас в Швеции? Саамы живут и в России, их у нас называют «Лопари».
Nathaniel Jonathan Ramos
May. 15th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC)
Do you know anything about Arsgang? Little accounts were written and limiter resources are only available to this topic. I'm baffled and interested about this, hope you can answer my question
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )