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Tofta Regin – english info

Regin í Toftum commonly, known as Tofta Regin, lived in Vágur around year 1450. Tofta Regin was a real perpetrator, a vicious sorcerer and renowned for his strength.

Read more about the story of Tofta Regin below the short film.

 

The making of Tofta Regin

Tofta Regin is made by the artist Gianfranco Nonne, an italian, who has lived in Vágur for many years. Below there is a shot film of the making of Tofta Regin.

 

Tofta Regin

Regin í Toftum commonly, known as Tofta Regin, lived in Vágur around year 1450.

Tofta Regin was a real perpetrator, a vicious sorcerer and renowned for his strength. Tofta Regin owned large parts of the land around Vágur, in fact one fourth of all land around the fjord and towards the neighbouring village to the south.

The stories about Tofta Regin encompasses stories about sorcery and evil-doing, but especially stories about duels or fights about disputes over boundaries between pastures, where the winner of the fight won the right to decide where the boundaries were.

According to the stories about Tofta Regin, he had fights with most of the neighbouring landowners about boundaries between pastures. And he also was chosen to represent Vágur in a fight about the boundaries between Vágur and Sumba, south of Vágur.

It was also this fight with Regin í Hørg from Sumba, that led to the episode, where Tofta Regin chased the farmhand of Jenis í Laðangarði (son of Regin í Hørg), which was on horseback, caught the horse and pulled off the horsetail. And now he is standing here with the horsetail in his hand.

The fight about the boundary between Vágur and Sumba

Tofta Regin, representing Vágur, and Regin í Hørg, representing Sumba, were chosen to settle a dispute about the boundary (at that time a stonewall) between Vágur and Sumba. It was decided that Tofta Regin and Regin í Hørg should start to build the stonewall from different sides. Tofta Regin from the east side and Regin í Hørg from the west side. The boundary, still visible today by the cow of the village of Lopra, south of Vágur, is for the same reason crooked and bent through the countryside.

But this did not end the dispute, because both parties demanded the ownership of Lopranshólm, the small islet west of Lopranseiði. And it was decided that a fight should end this part of the dispute.

Tofta Regin was chosen to represent Vágur and Regin í Hørg to represent Sumba. The fight was set on the day after jóansøka, St John’s Day / Midsummers Day.

The fight between the two lasted for hours. In the end Regin í Hørg tried to throw Tofta Regin, but Tofta Regin swung back and ended on top of Regin í Hørg. Regin í Hørg would not accept defeat and claimed that Tofta Regin had bewitched him, because he lost his sight as he tried to throw Tofta Regin. Tofta Regin responded that it was because Regin í Hørg was exhausted and lost his strength and therefore fell.

In this way Vágur got the ownership of the islet of Lopranshólmur, and still has it today.

The long tough fight also effected Tofta Regin, which took an oath, that he would never touch a man again outside the village boundaries.

The story about Tofta Regin and the farmhand on horseback

Shortly after the fight with Regin í Hørg beggars came to Tofta Regin’s house in Toftum in Vágur. They asked for alms and claimed that they were entitled to this, because they had prayed for Tofta Regin’s victory against Regin í Hørg. Tofta Regin got angry and swore that he had never and would never give any alms. One of the beggars answered that the almighty one could make Tofta Regin so poor, that he would gladly accept alms. Tofta Regin, now furious, said that he would never give or ask for alms all his lifetime or he should be doomed as one who breaks his words and as a perjurer.

Regin í Hørg had a son, Jenis í Laðangarði. Jenis í Laðangarði had a mean character and was very vindictive, and for the same reason ager to revenge his father’s loss to Tofta Regin. When Jenis heard about the beggars and Tofta Regin’s vow, Jenis saw his opportunity.

One autumn day, when the men from Sumba had collected the sheeps for slaughter, Jenis called upon his farmhands. Jenis said that whoever of the farmhands that would take the wether (a castrated ram) lying on the floor in his house and bring it to Tofa Regin with the message that this was an almgiving from Jenis í Laðangarði, would be paid with his best wether and his friendship.

One bold farmhand stepped forward and said that if the master of the house would lend him his horse, he would venture this dangerous action. Jenis agreed to loan him the horse, the best horse imaginable.

It was late in the evening when the farmhand arrived at Tofta Regin’s house in Toftum. He tied the horse outside the house and then entered the house with the wether. It was past supper time and Regin had already had his supper. He was sitting by the fireplace and had taken of his socks and trousers and was warming himself up. The farmhand enters and throws the sheep on the floor and says: “My master, the famous Jenis í Laðangarði, has heard about your vow not to give or take alms – and as you can be doomed as one who breaks his words and as a perjurer, he gives you this wether as a gift of alms.”

As soon as the farmhand as said these words, he turned around and hurried out the door and upon the horse. Regin, taken by surprise, sat numb for a few seconds, but then jumped up, got into his trousers and ran in haste after the farmhand.

Though he had come to age, Tofta Regin was still fit and swift on his feet, and he was so fast, that he caught the horse. Going west through the village, to the south towards Sumba, over Sandin – there were now only a short distance between them. When the horse set of to jump by the village boundaries, the stonewall at Ósagarð, Regin was so close, that he clutched the horsetail. The horse jumped, but Regin thrusted his feet hard against the stonewall and as the horse jumped, he pulled of the horsetail.

The horse and the farmhand fell over the stonewall out of the village boundaries of Vágur. In the same moment Regin remembered his oath and shouted towards the farmhand, that he would not have survived his quest if Regin had not taken an oath never to touch a man again outside the village boundaries.

When Tofta Regin returned to his house in Toftum he beated the wether to pieces and threw it out the door. After this Tofta Regin was failing to poor health, got tuberculosis and never got on his feet again.

Tofta Regin died on Pætursmessa (Mass of St. Pætur). Some said he got sick because he was bitterly repented because of the dirty tricks played against him; other said that he got sick because he had run so hard to catch the farmhand on the horse.

Here ends the the story of Tofta Regin.

 

Photos