The term Stallo, Stállu (Sami) and Stalo (Southern Sami), represents a mythical figure who appears in different roles in Sami folklore. Stallos often occur as a man-eating witch, a ghost or a demon sent by a witch.
Stallos are in general evil and stronger than humans, but also stupid, and the goal is often to fool them.
The stories about stallos serves as a way to promote cunning and knowledge, showing the desired activity or behavior to various Sami mythological figures in contrast to the wild and brutal stallo.
This is an old legend of how a man in the Lyngen area got the best of a stallo:
Rich Paul and the stallo.
Rich-Paul lived at a place called Paaljorda, which lies within Kvalvik river in Lyngen. At one time a stallo came and wanted to take all his goods and riches. He had heard of Paul’s wealth by local people who were jealous of Rich-Paul. The Stallo came to the farm and asked: Where is rich Paul? The wife replied; Paul is out on the fjord, fishing pollack. The Stallo then went to the shore and rowed out to some boats on the fjord.
Rich-Paul had heard rumours that a Stallo would come for him, but he did not know the exact day. Therefore, every day he rowed on the fjord, he brought with him an iron rod and an iron pot with hot fire inside. He would keep the fire hot and make sure the iron rod was red hot at all times.
It was all quiet and sunshine on the fjord when he saw a boat rowing fast towards him. He realized that this was the Stallo who came for him. Paul then positioned his boat straight into the sunlight. When the Stallo came near the other boats, he asks: Is Rich-Paul here? They answer: He is a bit further out on the fjord. The Stallo rowes off towards Pauls boat. He sits with his back towards Pauls boat when he reaches it. He turns and asks: Where is Rich-Paul? Paul says; look straight into the sun! The Stallo then puts his hand on his forehead to block out the sun. At the same time Paul stabs him with the red hot iron rod in the chest.
The Stallo falls overboard into the sea. Rich-Paul tries to wriggle the iron rod loose, but it wouldn’t come lose and went with the Stallo to a watery grave.
There are several other stories of Rich-Paul outsmarting stallos, and some local names of places and particular nature can be related to these stories.
Sources: http://no.wikipedia.org/, Emil Larssen; Lyngen bygdebok
Images: http://digitaltmuseum.no/ (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/deed.no)