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Ellert and Brammert
“Ellert and Brammert” tells the story of two thieving giants who are said to have terrorised Drenthe four centuries ago. While there are different versions of the legend, the core is always the same.
Ellert and Brammert are father and son. Two hard men who live in a subterranean hut on a large stretch of heathland. They prowled the area and had tied pieces of strings across the field in all directions. Bells had been tied to these strings. If an unwary traveller crossed the field, the two giants would be alerted. The victim was then roughly beaten with clubs and robbed. The ones who managed to escape with their lives could consider themselves lucky.
One day the two giants came across Marieke, a pretty young girl. They took her back to their lair where she was forced to cook and clean for them. The downside was that it meant father and son could no longer go out together. Someone always needed to stay at home to watch Marieke. One day father Ellert asked Marieke to give him a shave. Not a good idea, as Marieke seized the opportunity to slit his throat.
After seven years in captivity, Marieke was finally free. She ran home, but was being chased by the son, Brammert. Luckily Marieke managed to reach the home of her parents just in time. The next morning the villagers discovered a huge axe stuck in the door. Brammert had missed Marieke by a hair's breadth. Her parents decided to move to a safer village. All the other villagers of Orvelterveen also left, fearing Brammert's wrath.
The Ellertsveld in Drenthe is named after the legend of Ellert and Brammert. The giants can also be seen at the entrance of the Openluchtmuseum Ellert en Brammert.