Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

The motif Ole Lukoie, the sandman is a part of: Gods, spirits and demons


Lokoie, the sandman, sleep, dreams

Description of this motif:

Ole Lukoie is an odd entity. Andersen borrowed some charateristics for him from german lore. In a letter for the Swedish Lady Mathilda Barck, Nysø 20th June 1840, Andersen himself told that the name Ole Lukoie "betyder hos os hvad Der Sandmann er i Tydskland, en underlig Krabat, som om Aftenen naar Børn sidde allerbedst faaer dem til at plirre med Øinene og de maa lukke dem og sove": 'means to us what Der Sandmann is in Germany, a funny creature, that at night, when children are at their best, make them blink their eyes and have to close them and fall asleep" (Anderseniana, 3. rk. II,2, 1975, s. 146f). The Ole Lukoje-figure is mentioned for the first time by J.R. Paulli in the comedy Julestuen og Maskeraden (1724) and later by Poul Møller in Scener i Rosenborg Have (1819-21) and Blicher in "Røverstuen" (1827), it says p. 57 in vol. 7 of The Society For Danish Language And Literature's edition of Andersen's tales, published by Borgen, Copenhagen 1990. In the same place it is mentioned, that a similar character is anticipated in the Andersen poem Kunstner-Livet ("the artist's life") (1829) and in the novel Only a Fiddler (1837). Later again HCA wrote a fairytale comedy Ole Lukøie (1850).

Ole Lukoje is a kind of god, a god for sleep and dreams. In Andersen's tale he is gentle and kind and looks like a sweet goblin, but the dark side of his kind shows in the end, when it is told that Lukoje's brother, who has the same name, is Death itself.


The tales are sorted by year. The leading numbers refer to the number of occurrences of the motif in the respective texts.