Norwegian Tailed Woman (Huldra)

Main Content:

I:Informant, M:Me, R: Roommate

I: We had a lot of, another like woman kind of figure, which is I think its supposed to, I think traditionally she a beautiful woman but she has like a trolls tail. And like her sole mission is like to seduce man and trick them into marriage and I think she eats them.

R+M: *laughs*

M: So is she, is she beautiful and then and then she’s like really but on the like what she really is is ugly and so she tricking them or… how?

I: I think she’s  like all around just beautiful they only tell us that she has is this tail and she will like, I think there’s like some magic kind of supposed to be going on, like she will like um… um… um… oh you don’t have a word for that.. enchant? I suppose? Like The man and they will become lost in the magic that they don’t realize she has a tail because everyone knows to watch out for that tail. And then they be like too enchanted and then they’ll you know get eaten or whatever she does.    

   M: Oh okay that’s cool, a tailed lady

Context: The informant was taught this folklore as a child and was told to be weary of beautiful women and to always check for tail. This is a well known legend throughout Norway- one of the top two most known female figure legends.

Analysis: One hinderance we ran across was a slight language barrier in the last quote of the informant as there wasn’t an exact equivalent of a Norwegian word in English, so he chose the closest thing he could think of which was enchant. While this one word did not make an extreme impact on my collection, it definitely demonstrates how folklore can be lost in translation. Additionally, the woman figure is depicted here as alluring and trickery. The comment that men can be ‘tricked into marriage’ says a great deal about their views on marriage and to remember not to be hasty into big decisions. This is further displayed in their average marriage age which is just below 40 for both men and women. While America and Norway both have marriage ceremonies, they have very different meanings each country and that is expressed through the Norwegian warning of the Huldra.

For another version of Huldra, see

“Huldra – Mythical Creatures Guide.” Mythical Creatures Guide,