Necropants: Nábrók

deadThe Icelandic Necropants (Nábrók) is perhaps the weirdest way to get rich ever. According to odd medieval practice in Iceland, to get that horrible device, it was necessary to make deal with a male friend, when he was alive, about digging up his body from the churchyard after he would die. The cause of death had to be natural. When the person died, you had to skin his body below the waist and wear the pants that would result as Necropants, which soon became indistinguishable from one’s own skin. However, it was only a half of the task. To get rich, it was necessary to steal money from a poor widow and put it into the scrotum of the Necropants, along with a piece of parchment, on which a special magical stave had to be drawn. It was believed that more money would be constantly drawn into the scrotum in a magical way. Before one’s own death the person who possessed the freaky magical pants had to find someone who would agree to inherit the Nábrók. The transaction was a complicated ritual: the new owner of the strange object had to put his right leg into the pants, while the former owner was still wearing the left leg.
Now that’s quite a weird kind of magic indeed. I hope the tradition won’t be revived in view of the financial crisis. A pair of actual Necropants is displayed in the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft (Hólmavík, Strandir, Iceland).

Photo courtesy George Foster. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Daniel Madsen

Wauw.. I never heard of this before, but it sounds very wicket indeed.
I got to see this some day..


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: