Nábrók

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A replica of a pair of nábrók at The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. At the right is the magical symbol that is part of the ritual and at its feet are coins.

Nábrók (calqued as necropants, literally "corpse trousers/underpants") are a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead man, which are believed in Icelandic witchcraft to be capable of producing an endless supply of money.[1] It is unlikely these pants ever existed outside of folklore.[2]

Ritual[edit]

Nábrókarstafur (Stave for Necropants)[3]

The ritual for making necropants is described as follows:[3]

If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók), you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his death.

After he has been buried, you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants, they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently, the coin will draw money into the scrotum so that it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed. To ensure salvation, the owner has to convince someone else to take ownership of the pants and step into each leg as soon as he gets out of it. The necropants will thus keep the money-gathering nature for generations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitehead, Gudrun D. (30 October 2016). "Halloween Special: Object Spotlight Sinister Pants" (pdf). International Committee for Museums of Ethnography Newsletter. No. 79. Paris, France: International Council of Museums. p. 6. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  2. ^ McMahon, Sara (24 December 2014). "The macabre necropants, made from dead man's skin, on display in Hólmavík". Iceland Magazine. Whenever someone asks me whether they are real or whether a pair ever existed, I’m forced to tell the truth: Necropants have only ever existed in local folk legends. 
  3. ^ a b Sigurður, Atlason (14 November 2005). "Stave for Necropants". Strandagaldur, Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. 

External links[edit]