June Nyberg shares the folklore of the Norwegian nisser, though the story of Pede. June has kept alive Scandinavian folklore for over 45 years, with painting, story telling, and teaching throughout the Midwest.

This article is reprinted from Vesterheim, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2014.

Here’s an excerpt:

Pede is a nisse. A nisse (plural nisser) is always Norwegian. From that, the description varies: said to be no taller than a small child, or no bigger than your thumbnail so he can slip through a keyhole or other very small openings.

To describe him is easier if you recall stories told to you as a child. Beliefs in nisser, as well as trolls, lasted well into the late 1700s. Stories, said to be true, were told in the long winter nights and in the summer seter.

Once encounters were not uncommon, but in recent years, folk stories have been lost to action films with new characters. I will tell you what I know to be true about nisser —or mostly true—or not—because actual sightings have been very rare in the past 100 years.

Read the full article to learn more!

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