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Old Norse álfar = 'elves'

Snorri distinguishes between Ljósálfar (light elves) and Svartálfar = 'black elves'.

The light elves live in Alfheimr which he obviously thought of as a sort of heaven or in Víðbláinn. They are more beautiful than the sunlight.

The black elves live in Svartálfaheimr, and according to Snorri they might be dwarfs.



  1. Rudolf Simek: Dictionary of Northern Mythology (1993)