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24/05/2016 11:39
A piece of the selkie bride to be handed over to the best players in Tórshavn
2018 FIVB Women's World Championship / 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Small Countries Division

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, May 24, 2016. The awards for the best players of the first-round women’s World Championship qualifier taking place from Monday to Wednesday in Tórshavn will be presented at the official dinner to be organised following completion of the last match on schedule. And it is a piece of not only Faroese history, but actually a small part of world history that will be handed over to each outstanding player.

The trophy is made out of stone and on top of it there is a half-dressed woman. This is the selkie bride, based on the statue designed and crafted by artist Hans Pauli Olsen, which is standing on the outer part of the beach in Mikladali, in the northern part of the Faroe Islands.

The story of the selkie bride is not only a Faroese story. It is known all around the world, somewhere almost in the same version as in the Atlantic islands, elsewhere in a slightly different one. However, the core of the story is the same, a fairy tale about a man meeting a woman from a different world.

The Faroese story goes that one night a fisherman saw the seals coming to shore, where they undressed the sealskin before they started dancing on the beach. The fisherman would fall in love with the most beautiful selkie and take her sealskin, so she could not escape when the dance was over.

The fisherman went home with her, they married, had children and lived a happy life. This lasted up until the day the fisherman forgot to take the key to the chest, where he kept the sealskin. When his hand touched his hip and he realised he had no key with him, he knew already that on that same night he would not have had a wife anymore. The selkie found the sealskin, took it and left home, but only after taking well care of the kids keeping all sharp things away from them.

The story about the selkie bride is probably one of the best known fairy tales in the Faroes, and that was the reason for making a statue of her in Mikladali two years ago. Appropriately she stands on the edge of the beach, some days in very, very heavy seas, reminding everyone of the past.

And once the World Championship and Small Countries Division qualifier comes to an end, she will be reminding the best players of their trip to the – sunny – Faroe Islands.

Pictures of the 'original' selkie bride courtesy by Oliver Joensen (

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