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Thread: Race in Norse Mythology?

  1. #1
    Senior Member celticviking's Avatar
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    Question Race in Norse Mythology?

    Well talking about Heimdall in the Thor Film, the admin posted this

    "
    Norse Mythology ‎@Alexander: yes, Thor's ancestors were black. It goes like this: Nott(or Night) is described as having very, very dark skin(Most likely, African) like her father, Narfi(this Narfi is possibly Mimir). Her son, Audr, was space personified, a...nd matching his element, he was dark as well. Night then had several children with Odin(Annar) and produced Jord/Nerthus. Jord was thus, half-black half-white. She then had a child with Odin. This child was named Thor. : ) If you look into it even more, you'll find that Surt was black, in fact his name was 'the black one.' Also, in the Prose Edda, Muspelheim and Africa are mentioned as one(though only metaphoricaly). Sorry, I kind of got off subject. To answer your question: yes, Thor has black ancestors/CMN."

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Norse-...gy/44621832991

    I unliked the page and found this on Wikipedia

    "Nótt is described as "black and swarthy"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B3tt


    Is Swarthy like Med or Paleo Atlantid and not Black

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    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
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    When talking about mythological races (like elves, giants etc), "swarthy" certainly does not refer to any 'human' trait they possibly have, but associates them with the mythological realm where they come from.

    In case of both the German Bertha and the Nordic Hel "half black and half white" should be understood literally, ie one side is black and the other is white. Bertha is described as a white beauty viewed from the front, and when she passes along, you see the black back side with the reptile-sort tail, linking her to the nordic black (or dark) elves AND giants. Hel iIrc has the color scheme on left and right side.

    Nótt, being a giant, and the literal night (=darkness) must be, by definition, of the dark line of the giants. Same for Surtr, although a fire giant, he's probably carved from lava stone and as such black of color.
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  3. #3
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    I find the thought of black african Jotnar slightly silly. It seems to me the Admin is pulling stuff out of hats in some cases here, and his supposed "descriptions of" are mostly just superfluent interpretations of the meanings of the name. For example Surtr indeed means black, and that is probably the case as is intuitive to suppose, but that's really it in terms of source material.

    Naturally, trying to make the mythology fit with the ethnicities of humankind is pretty silly as there are several more likely aproaches to read into this - and it's not exactly as if the gods and higher powers follow the same rules as we do.

    The prose edda shouldn't really be taken as a good source of info on norse cosmology, as it is obvious that Snorri attempts (like countless other medieval scholars mind you) to write the mythology into a euhemeristic tradition that ultimately tries to prove that Scandinavian culture has roots in Troy by dubious folk etymology ("Gee, this Aesir stuff kinda... kinda sounds a lot like Asia. Can't be coincidence!") so that Norse culture could have the same noble roots as classical cultures, a huge trend in medieval europe at the time (similarly there are texts that try to write Kings and Gods into biblical genealogies).
    Besides, in Norse texts sub-saharan Africa is usually described as this absurd fairy land, naturally because scholars had no real idea of what the hell was down there except from reading latin material about this absurd fairy land, inhabited by centaurs with asses for faces or whatnot.

    From an ethnic point of view, I'd guess norse people would be inclined to call anybody darker than well tanned, blámaðr. Geirmund Heljarskinn's mother was probably Ugric, and his name means "skin (black) as Hel".

    Swarthiness is often described as a trait of lower classes as one of Jotnar, though this is probably largely due to the nature of their environment, duties and activities rather than properly ethnic traits. Black as in black african was probably the stuff of legends in Scandinavia, and probably only witnessed by the few who later went on pilgrimages and so forth to Jerusalem and other places on the far corners of the Earth from Scandinavia.

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    Senior Member Thors Hammer's Avatar
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    "It goes like this: Nott(or Night) is described as having very, very dark skin(Most likely, African) like her father, Narfi(this Narfi is possibly Mimir). Her son, Audr, was space personified, a...nd matching his element, he was dark as well."
    So Nott (Night) is apparently described as having dark skin? Nah! I thought night/darkness was bright as the sun lol.

    "Night then had several children with Odin(Annar) and produced Jord/Nerthus. Jord was thus, half-black half-white. She then had a child with Odin. This child was named Thor. : )"
    What??? How in the hell is Annar, Odin?
    Jord/Fjorgyn/Earth did bore Thor yet, Thor is said to be a red head and isn't even described as dark, obviously the people that came up with the myths didn't actually think of race when coming up with descriptions but the terms of lightness and darkness, hence why the Gods are Nazi poster boys and the Giants (normally the "bad guys" and enemy of the Gods, yeah apparently this guy wants to promote multiculturalism by showing we have been having battles with other races since the beginning of time lol) are said to dark, it has nothing to do with race but concepts!

    "If you look into it even more, you'll find that Surt was black, in fact his name was 'the black one.' Also, in the Prose Edda, Muspelheim and Africa are mentioned as one(though only metaphoricaly)."
    Surt was a giant, I don't know what the hell the guy is reading when he says Muspelheim and Africa are one, however the Son's on Muspell break the Bitfrost bringing Ragnarok, hardly a nice description (yet accurate e.g. Flooding of Europe, along with other Skraelings signals the end of us) of Negroids lol.

    Also accurate descriptions cannot be certain, afterall most of the myths were composed by a xtian, and words like "black skinned" and "swarthy" were most likely just thrown in to show the current audience of that time, that a certain being was meant to be of darkness (darkness would of meant evil to xtians).

  5. #5
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    Our Gods were not African Black. On the idea that Heimdall or Thor were Black or had African Ancestors is just stupid. Since it was a posting about the movie, I give it as much credibility as the comic books, none. I will eventually watch the movie, but with the understanding that it is based on a comic book, not our sagas.

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