En 14g The Brokmen

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    Ott 2023

    14g. Faults of the Brokmen

    [131/26] When the Bearer has wheeled forth the Yule for some time, then posterity might come to believe that the faults brought here by the Brokmen were those of their own ancestors.[1] To prevent this, I will describe all that I have observed of their manners:

    [132] About the Geartmen I have not much to say. I have not dealt much with them, but as far as I have seen, they have retained our language and customs the most. I cannot say the same of the others.

    The language of those from the Greeklands is vulgar, and their customs are lamentable. Many have brown eyes and hair. They are envious and brazen, and fearful from superstition. When they speak, they put the words first that ought to come last. For ald (old) they say ‘ád’, for salt ‘sád’, ‘má’ for man,[2] ‘sel’ for ‘skil’ (shall), ‘sode’ for ‘skolde’ (should).[3] Too many to mention. They also use foreign and abbreviated names that have no clear meaning. The Ionians speak better, but they drop the ‘H’ where one should be and include one where it should not.

    Whenever anyone makes an image of someone who has died and it is a good likeness, they believe that the spirit of the departed enters into it. Therefore they hide all images: of Frya, Festa, Medea, Thiania,[4] Hellenia, and many others. When a child is born, the family gathers and prays to Frya that she may send her maidens to bless the child. When they have prayed, [133] no one may move or make a sound. If the child cries and persists for a while, it is a bad omen and the mother is suspected of adultery. I have seen terrible consequences from that! If the child sleeps, it means that the maiden spirits have come. If it also smiles, the maidens have promised it good luck. They invariably believe in evil spirits, witches, sorcerers, little forest men, and elves — as if they stemmed from the Finns.[5]

    Herewith I will end, and I think I have written more than any of my ancestors.

    Frethorik.

    Notes

    1. ‘Brokmen’ (BROK.MANNA) — unclear; elsewhere, ‘brok’ means ‘marshy’ (land); perhaps many of the remigrants settled in the lower, marshy lands.
    2. ‘ald’ — Frisian: âld; Dutch: oud; German: alt; ‘salt’ — Frisian: sâlt; Dutch: zout; German: Salz; ‘ma’ for man is common in Frisian family names, for example: Jensma, Ottema.
    3. ‘skil’ — Frisian: sil; Dutch: zal; German: soll; ‘skolde’ — Frisian: soe; Dutch: zou; German: sollte.
    4. ‘Thiania’ (THJANJA) — or: Diana (meaning: ‘to serve’; Dutch and German: ‘dienen’).
    5. ‘little forest men’ (ULDERMANKES) — related to ‘hulder’ from Scandinavian folklore.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.179 cont.] Whenever the Carrier has completed a period, then posterity shall understand that the faults and misdeeds that the Brokmannen have brought with them belonged to their forefathers; therefore I will watch, and will describe as much of their manners as I have seen. The Geertmannen I can [p.181] readily pass by. I have not had much to do with them, but as far as I have seen they have mostly retained their language and customs. I cannot say that of the others. Those who descend from the Greeks speak a bad language, and have not much to boast of in their manners. Many have brown eyes and hair. They are envious and impudent, and cowardly from superstition. When they speak, they put the words first that ought to come last. For old they say at; for salt, sât; and for man, ma—too many to mention. They also use abbreviations of names, which have no meaning. The Joniers speak better, but they drop the H, and put it where it ought not to be. When they make a statue of a dead person they believe that the spirit of the departed enters into it; therefore they have hidden their statues of Frya, Fâsta, Medea, Thiania, Hellenia, and many others. When a child is born, all the relatives come together and pray to Frya to send her servants to bless the child. When they have prayed, they must neither move nor speak. If the child begins to cry, and continues some time, it is a bad sign, and they suspect that the mother has committed adultery. I have seen very bad things come from that. If the child sleeps, that is a good sign—Frya's servants are come. If it laughs in its sleep, the servants have promised it happiness. Moreover, they believe in bad spirits, witches, sorcerers, dwarfs, and elves, as if they descended from the Finns. Herewith I will finish, and I think I have written more than any of my forefathers. Frethorik.


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