Myths, Sagas, and Interesting Tales from around the world


  • Fostbraedrasaga - Iceland
  • Loa - Caribbean
    Fostbrfprasage - Iceland

    In response to a question posted on Stutt-l about stuttering depicted in old Icelandic texts and sagas, LH responded, "I have done no systematic search. The only example I know of is an incident in "Fostbraedrasaga" (The Foster-Brothers' Saga), one of the minor sagas, which takes place in the Westfjords. Thormod, one of the foster-brothers in the story, is being pursued by a horde who want to take revenge on him for one or another of several murders. He goes over a cliff and hangs onto a rock to hide, where he hangs all day until the pursuers go away. When his foster-brother Thorgeir finally finds him, he asks why he didn't call out for help. Thormod replies that he didn't dare, as his stutter would have given away his identity.

    Interestingly, I believe Thormod was also supposed to be a poet. I haven't read this saga in about ten years, so I really do hope I haven't mixed up the characters!

    The current interpretation of this saga is that it is something of a spoof on sagas, the murders and other incidents are rather exaggerated. The foster-brothers and their followers run over the Westfjords like a bunch of Hell's Angels, or characters from a Clint Eastwood movie. It's a fairly late saga, and somewhat unlike the more serious ones."

    Mombu, a "stammering loa" - Caribbean

    In the voodoo-religion of the Caribbean, the loa are a group of divinities who are concerned with the lives of humans and who often personify forces of nature. Their origin lies in West-African traditions, and their leader is Damballa. Some loa protect certain places or areas, such as cemeteries, crossroads, the sea, etc., while other loa are ancestral deities. The loa cult is lead by a priest (hungan) or priestess (mambo) and the divinities are invoked by vv (magical pentagrams) and by singing and dancing. During these rituals, the names of the loa are often mixed with those of Christian saints (with which they show many similarities). The loa are represented by vv drawn on the ground." ( One of the loa "stammers." Mombu is "a stammering loa who causes storms or torrential rain." (