Sunday, December 27, 2009

Story of Yule Dudes

These are a few of the Yule Dude Dolls that I have made. I need to learn how to use the new camera and how to stage the dolls. These are displayed on my tall oak display staircase. I ran out of time and have not finished attaching and painting the shelves that it leads up to. It is more fun to play than to work on the house

These characters are from Icelandic Folk Lore. Icelanders have not one but thirteen Yule Lads. They are not related to Santa Claus. They are descendants of trolls and were originally used to scare children to behave. These boys were so bad that the parents would threaten their children with these Yule Dudes to make them behave or Gryla’s Black Cat would eat them.
These lads are very mischievious and have retained their unique characteristics to today. They live in the mountains with their parents, Gryla and Leppaluodi a Troll.
Gryla was an excellent cook, but she was greedy and gluttonous. She would lock the boys out while she and her black cat ate sumptuous feasts. The poor boys had to fend for themselves. Finding rags to make into clothes and food wherever they could.
As they got older they came off the mountain top to a village where people were making Yule preparations. The boys thought what fun and free food for the taking. They agreed to come down one by one, so the Villagers would not get suspicious or irate.
They start on Dec 12th and the last one on Dec 24th. They hang out for the Christmas Celebrations .
The first one down Dec 12th is Stiff Leg (Stekkjastaur Sheepfold Stick) He likes to steal the ewe’s milk, but cannot bend his knees.
The second one down was Gully Gawk. Giijaguar would sneak into the barn and steal the cow’s milk in the pails.
Shorty (Stufaar) was the third Yule Dude to leave the mountain. He used a sled. Because he was so short, all he could find were the burnt pans left to soak on the floor.
The fourth one was Spoon Licker bvorusleikir would wait for the cook to put the spoon in the bowl and steal the spoon to lick it clean. There was always something good in the bowl.
The fifth one one down was Pot Scraper Pottasleikir would arrive late at night on the 16th of December. He would knock on the front door and run to the back door and sneak into the scullery and take all of the posts and scrape them clean. The people in bed thought he was a ghost.
The sixth one down was Bowl Licker Askasleiikir would sneak into the house and hide under the furniture and steal the bowls that were set out for the cats.
Door Slammer was the seventh one down. He loved noise, so he went round the village slamming doors to disturb all of the Villagers.
Skyr Gobbler Skyrgamur would wander into the village and find the barrel of Yogurt that was being prepared. He would break the lid and gobble all of the Yogurt. He ate the whole thing.
On Dec 20th Sausage Swiper Bjugnakaraekir would go up to the rafters and steal the sausages that were being smoked up there.
Window Peeper Gluggagaegir would show up poking his face right up to the windows to see what he could find that looked good to eat Dec 21st
On Dec 22nd, a large fellow with a big nose would appear He was Door Sniffer Gattabefur. He sniffed out all of the goodies in the house. He especially like thel ace cookies made special for the Yule Feast.
On Dec 23rd, Meat Hooker Ketkrokur would arrive on St Thorlak’s Day He knew the villagers would be celebrating their Patron Saint. He would steal all of thesmoked meats and hamsin the attic.
On December 24th the last one Candle Beggar Kertasnikir would try and steal the children’s candles. Candles were very precious to the children, because at Yule Tide it is dark all day.
On Christmas day all of the Yule Dudes were worn out and all they could do was stare at the Christmas Lights. Then one by one they trotted back to their mountain.
On January 6th, Twelfth Night, the last one left the village.
from Icelandic Traditions.