The myth of the mountains of Nordland, Norway


Long before the people came to Nordland and at the time when the trolls ravaged the nights, there were two kings in the country. It was the Vågakallen (“The old fellow from Vågan”) which was located in Lofoten and owned all the cod in the sea, and it was the Suliskongen (“The king of Sulis”) who sat on a mountain of precious metals. There they sat in their fields, glared fiercely over at each other.

Vågakallen, Åustvågøy in Lofoten, Norway

Vågakallen had an unruly and wild son. He, Hestmannen (“The horseman”), sat on his horse and rode around and played pitch and made mischiefs. Suliskongen, on his part, had seven unmarried daughters. He saw no worthy suitors for his daughters, so he had engaged Lekamøya (“The Maiden from Leka”) to chaperone them.

Lekamøya – The maiden from the island Leka

The summer was generally a difficult time for the trolls. The nights were short, and they did not survive sunlight. The smallest ray of sun would instantly kill them and turn them into stone. On such a hot and good summer night, Lekkamøya had brought the seven daughters of Suliskongen to the north side of the island Landegode to swim and enjoy the summer heat. They played and frolicked in the pleasant water.

Syv Søstre – The Seven Sisters

Up in Lofoten the Horseman got an eye on Lekkamøya. He was not of the kind that made such an opportunity slide away. He went galloping over the Vestfjorden. This discovered Lekkamøya and she gathered the girls and ran south.

Landegode – a summer night

The girls were curious and south on Helgeland they stopped in a row to watch how this would end, while Lekkamøya continued south the best she could.

Dønnamannen – “The man from Dønna”

Down in Rødøy, the Horseman realizes that he will not reach Lekamøya. In fury he grabs the bow and sends an arrow after Lekamøya. This Dønnamannen (“The man from Dønna”) sees this and throws his hat into the air so that the arrow changes direction. At the same moment, the first rays of sun rise above the horizon and the players turns into stone. Up in on Austvågøy in Lofoten, the raises the majestic mountain Vågakallen and close to the Swedish border in Salten rages the Suliskongen. The Hestmannen stits safe on his horse on the isle Store Selsøy in Rødøy muncipality, the seven sisters stand on row down on Alstadhaug and right across the fjord sits Dønnamannen. His hat, Torghatten (The hat on Torget), with the hole after Hestmannens arrow, fell down on Torget just next to Brønnøysund. The arrow lay somewhere among the hundreds of islands in the sea. Far to the south of Helgeland on the island of Leka, Lekamøya is still wearing a shawl over her head.

Torghatten – “The hat from Torget”