"Black elves." According to Snorri Sturluson, a race of beings distinct from the light elves, the ljósálfar. He describes them as dwelling down in the earth and says that they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature. While the light elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, the dark elves are blacker than pitch. Their home is Svartálfaheimr.

The dark elves seem to have the same traits attributed to them as dwarfs and the two appear to be synonymous. Snorri says that the black elves made the golden hair for Sif; Odin sent Loki into the land of the black elves to procure gold, and there came upon the dwarf Andvari; and Skírnir was sent by Odin to the region of the black elves, to certain dwarfs, to have them make the fetter Gleipnir.



  • Gylfaginning, 17, 34.
  • Hrafnagaldr Óðins, 25.
  • Skáldskaparmál, 35, 39.