THE BLACKSMITHS AND THE CAVES
The blacksmiths has always been surrounded by a wail of mystery. In
Norwegian folklore there are stories about how the best blacksmith got
their knowledge from the dwarfs. From the skilled dwarf-smiths that lived
inside the mountains, they could learn how to forge "supernatural" powers
into objects. This activity had to be hidden, kept away from other
mundane activities, and away from daylight. For one blacksmith the result
was uncertain since upon his death, nether the devil nor St. Peter would
let him through their gateways.
In the Viking age mythology the dark caves and rock shelters are linked to
complex ideas tied to the realms of the Jotne woman, the dwarfs and to
gateways to the realms of the dead (basically summed up to sex, rock and
death). In Norway place names and archaeological finds link the
blacksmith and the caves together. The blacksmith might be the one that
cremates the dead. The dark caves were probably the right place for the
most hidden and dangerous tasks of the blacksmiths.