- the summer home
only the e'e that sees the unseen dat can see Hildaland"
Finfolk were a nomadic race, with two distinct homes they flitted between throughout
In the summer time they
were believed to dwell on the magical, invisible island of Hildaland, returning
to their beloved undersea kingdom of Finfolkaheem in the
Although it may be that their summer
residence, Hildaland - meaning Hidden Land - was made up of a number of distinct
islands, in time it came to be regarded as just one.
Hildaland became associated with the now uninhabited island of Eynhallow,
between Rousay and the Orkney
The vanishing island
the magic of the Finfolk, Hildaland was kept hidden from mortal eyes, though the
shores of this earthly paradise were often glimpsed by travelling Orcadians.
accounts of these sightings vary, some stating that the island rose from the depths
of the sea, with others saying it was simply invisible and could not be seen by
mortal man. From the various tales that come to us today it would appear that
Hildaland was surrounded by a magical bank of fog that enveloped the unwary traveller
and shifted them from the mortal world to the world of the Finfolk.
it was hidden, Hildaland was generally believed to be a beautiful green island
of glistening streams and fertile fields. There, the sun always shone with rich
fields of corn and barley growing in the warm breeze, while wandering herds of
cattle grew fat.
Although certain Finfolk
tales are clear that Hildaland and Eynhallow were one and the same, others are
less certain. These recount episodes in which travellers encounter the magical
isles of the Finfolk in locations far from the geographic location of Eynhallow.
The tale A Close
Tongue Keeps a Safe Head, for example, has the Finman's home somewhere
in the vicinity of the island of Sanday.
days, however, one of the best-known tales of Hildaland tells how it was wrested
from the grip of the Finfolk by a daring farmer from the parish
here to read more.