Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scandinavian Islands of Sacrifices, Curses and Giants

There is an island in the Baltic Sea off of Sweden called Bla Jungfrun. It is a small uninhabited island but with a reputation. You see, it wasn't always uninhabited. The island has dense forests, rocks, caves, and a stone labyrinth.

Swedish folklore says that it is a magical place, perhaps not a good magic, perhaps something cursed....

It is said witches once went there and when they did, they disappeared. The polished rocks on the shores are protected by law from thievery, but it is also said if you do take one, you are cursed.

It is believed that, as long ago as 9000 years ago, there were rituals performed in the caves on the island.  They show evidence of people coming to the island thousands of years ago to perform rituals with one having an "altar" of sorts with offerings and another having a stage of some sort.

Between the two caves and area where people consumed seals as long ago as 9000 years was revealed. 

Interestingly, Ukonsaari Island on Inari Lake in Finnish Lapland showed evidence of ancient sacrifice within its cave from the 14th to 17th centuries. The local Sami People believe it to be sacred. 

Off the coast of Sweden at Oland Island, archaeologists uncovered a 5th Century scene of much death showing a well organized and lethal raid was made upon the island fortress. 

Scandinavian mythology talks of an island way to the north that is uninhabited called Utrost. In that delightful way I keep running into native legends telling of giant encounters, this one applies. It was said to be the land of the Frey, the only enemies of Beli (giants who make howling sounds). These giants were also known as the Jotunn and I have written about them on the blog a few times. Many native giant legends strike me as being amazing accounts to take notice of and the race of the Jotunn have my complete fascination as a potential accounting passed down of times when the giants and us puny folk interacted. 

There are mysteries on those islands and ones around the world including the cannibalism in the cave on Easter Island. Perhaps it is time to look at the continual legends of man versus giant and rethink our history. From Freyr and Beli to the aborigines burning a giant in a cave to the Paiutes and red-haired giants and David and Goliath; religious texts and native mythology retell the story of our fight against the giants and our victory. We must honor the fact that Homo sapiens won the world, and we must never forget the brutal race of giants we had to go up against!

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