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.