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Náttfari (literally, "nightwalker"; c. 835–?) (last name unknown) was a slave who escaped his master and may have became the first permanent resident of Iceland.[1] Náttfari escaped from Garðar Svavarsson with a slave and a woman when Garðar set sail to the Hebrides from his newfound land which he named Garðarshólmi, now known as Iceland, in the 9th century. When Swede Gardar Svavarsson left the island in spring of 870, after a winter's stay, moving east towards Norway, a boat drifted away. On the boat were Náttfari, a crew member with a slave and a bond woman, soon established a farm here.[1][2][3][4] Earliest accounts to their story is found in 9th-10th century work, Landnámabók (Book of Settlement). [5]

Garðar reached the shores of Iceland on the north coast, near Húsavík. Náttfari, as stated before, escaped with a slave and an ambátt (female slave) and found a place for himself to live, nowadays known as Náttfaravík (Nightwalker's Creeks), which are situated directly opposite to the town of Húsavík, in the Skjálfandi Bay.[4][3]


  1. ^ a b Gudni T. Johannesson (9 January 2013). The History of Iceland. ABC-CLIO. pp. 6–7, 19–20. ISBN 978-0-313-37621-4. 
  2. ^ Nuttall, Mark (2012). Encyclopedia of the Arctic. Routledge. pp. 902–. ISBN 978-1-136-78680-8. 
  3. ^ a b Friedman, John Block; Figg, Kristen Mossler (2013). Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 1611–. ISBN 978-1-135-59101-4. 
  4. ^ a b Short, William R. (1 March 2010). Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas. McFarland. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-7864-5607-9. 
  5. ^ Pálsson, Hermann (1 January 2007). The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. Univ. of Manitoba Press. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-88755-370-7.