MEET WEST SEATTLE’S TROLL: Bruun Idun unveiled at Lincoln Park

4:17 PM: At an invitation-only (but crowded) event under way right now, West Seattle’s troll Bruun Idun has just been “unveiled.”

As we first reported back in June, with a followup when troll-building began last week, this is one of six trolls that Danish artist Thomas Dambo is making from recycled materials and installing around the Northwest – first one was in Portland, then Bainbridge Island, now West Seattle (still to come are Issaquah, Vashon Island, and Ballard). Now that it’s been completed, its location at Lincoln Park has been revealed – right behind Colman Pool, where volunteers were still working to complete it this morning:

We took that photo after hiking in for a scheduled chance to talk briefly with the artist:

We also met John “Coyote” Halliday, a Muckleshoot Tribe artist who is contributing decorations to the troll, made primarily from bark and shells.

More photos and info to come – including the troll’s story (Dambo told us it’s meant to be “singing to the orcas”) – when we’re back from the event!

7:06 PM: Turns out Bruun Idun (“Idun” for short – pronounced like “Eden”) is playing a flute with a song for the orcas. Each troll has a poem, and Dambo read part of this one at the podium, including the line, “She played for them the orca song, to ask them where they all had gone.” Artist Coyote, meantime, explained that his creations are adorning Bruun Idun’s flute. He and Dambo had an “artist exchange” as part of this, including a visit by Coyote to Denmark, where he painted a killer whale on Dambo’s house. He and Dambo also exchanged gifts today.

This is all shown in our video of the program, which was emceed by Visit Seattle‘s Tracey Wickersham – a West Seattleite.
Guest speakers included Mayor Bruce Harrell, who talked with the artist before everyone moved to the portable podium:

The program began with a song by the Muckleshoot canoe family.

As underscored by the listing of partnerships at the end, this was a privately funded project. More information about Bruun Idun should appear soon on the website, as it has for the Portland troll Ole Bolle and the Bainbridge troll Pia. Dambo said this all was intended to happen a few years ago, but the pandemic interrupted the timeline. He has installed 121 “environmental sculptures” around the world and has more on the drawing board – even as this one was being built, he flew briefly to Austin, Texas, for meetings about a series planned next year.

P.S. As explained in our earlier interview with the artist – video above – no, they are NOT left to decompose; at some point the site host (Seattle Parks for this one) will decide when to dismantle it and recycle its components.

(Editor’s note: Troll’s name corrected post-publication to reflect that Bruun Idun is two words, not one as originally reported)

35 Replies to "MEET WEST SEATTLE'S TROLL: Bruun Idun unveiled at Lincoln Park"

  • Friend O'Dinghus August 25, 2023 (5:10 pm)

    Thank you Thomas Dambo and crew for bringing such beauty into the world for us all to enjoy. She is beautiful! 

  • Anna Dodd August 25, 2023 (5:23 pm)

    So Exciting!!!! Cannot wait to go see the new neighbor! 

  • Streamdreamer August 25, 2023 (6:20 pm)

    Love it! 

  • Raye August 25, 2023 (6:46 pm)

    Perfect spot for the marvelous Bruunidon! I saw the great troll a few days ago, before he was 100 percent completed. I’d love to know the origin of his name and the full Danish folktale. I think “Bruun” means “brown,” but that’s the extent of my knowledge 

  • Susan August 25, 2023 (7:22 pm)

    This is such a WONDERFUL addition to West Seattle, we are LUCKY the artist chose this area to build it. I hope all the negative peeps will contain themselves -lets just enjoy its presence, however long lasts. 

    • star 55 August 25, 2023 (10:13 pm)

      How fun to have in our backyard. thank you.

  • RickB August 25, 2023 (7:36 pm)

    Cool troll! We got a good one.

  • Jimbo August 25, 2023 (7:41 pm)

    How long will it be there?

    • Kathryn Daughhetee August 26, 2023 (10:09 am)

      According to the interview with the artist, when it deteriorates to an unspecified point, it will be taken down and recycled again.

  • alkiannie August 25, 2023 (8:21 pm)

    Fantastic! Thank you WSB for the videos – I watched them all in full – so I could learn the whole story! Love this!

  • Terremoto August 25, 2023 (8:25 pm)

    Amazing idea and incredible artistic creation.  Perfect spot.  Thank you, artists!

  • Michelle August 25, 2023 (8:45 pm)

    What an amazing work of art. We’ve been so excited to see it go up. @WSB – any idea what measures the city is taking to protect it… to keep it from suffering the same fate as the snow cone cart? 🥰

    • Sunuva August 26, 2023 (7:43 am)

      What was the fate of the snow cone cart?

  • Karen B August 25, 2023 (9:28 pm)

    So cool! My sister and I walked by there yesterday, and had the wonderful opportunity to watch some of the volunteers putting on finishing touches including some of  the hair. We talked with the volunteer Troll Docent who told us about some of the backstory and the many wonderful collaborations that I see here. 

  • john Nuler August 25, 2023 (10:05 pm)

    Amazing.Simply amazing!

  • BJ Bullert August 25, 2023 (11:10 pm)

    Pardon me, but this Muckleshoot artist, with the full support of the mayor,  is part of the deliberate PR campaign to erase the Duwamish presence in West Seattle.

    • Friend O'Dinghus August 26, 2023 (8:54 am)

      BJ, I am interested in this hearing out this view. Can you please explain specifically, and in detail, what makes you feel like this artist, and more specifically the mayor’s office, are “part of a deliberate PR campaign to erase the Duwamish presence in West Seattle”. Thank you.

    • Josh August 26, 2023 (9:07 am)

      Pardon you but claiming that Muckleshoot don’t include mostly descendants of the Duwamish who were displaced from their lands and agreed to do so in an effort to maintain tribal identity, rather than the modern group who responded to colonialism by trying to assimilate, is an effort to erase the experience of the Duwamish who were displaced from West Seattle. Who gains from the Duwamish who formed the Muckleshoot with the Puyallup and others fighting with the Duwamish who stayed and intermarried with the Boston?  I get that the Muckleshoot don’t want further competition for casino money beyond the Puyallup, Snoqualmie, and Tulalip but in order to be recognized as a tribe in order to gain access to reservation lands and treaty rights the people who claim ownership of the Duwamish identity do not meet criteria to be considered an independent tribe. It’s not some evil conspiracy by the Muckleshoot any more than the modern Duwamish efforts to claim their identity is being denied by appealing to white liberal guilt is just a cynical effort to get access to the ability to build a casino closer to a population center which would end up diverting money from their brethren and cousins. The whole dichotomy is BS. It’s oppressed people fighting with each other over the scraps handed to them by colonialists. The city has nothing to do with who can be considered a tribe or a band and neither do the Muckleshoot. It’s up to the federal government and any group who thinks they qualify to sort it out. The reality is that the Muckleshoot are identifiable as a distinct tribe that includes the family groups that are duwamish according to the rules that define what a tribe is and the modern Duwamish are not unless the rules change. 

      • Drum Major August 26, 2023 (11:22 am)

        Why didn’t you just provide a link to the Muckleshoot/Puyallup/Tulalip funded anti-Duwamish website?Do you really believe that the Duwamish people moved out to Auburn to maintain their tribal identity?

      • BJ Bullert August 26, 2023 (5:46 pm)

        I agree with you, largely.  As Prof. Josh Reid has noted, the rules set up by the federal government have been designed to prevent non-recognized tribes from being recognized by changing the interpretation of requirements over time. It’s like moving the goal posts in a soccer game.Assimilation isn’t the same as adaption to a dominant culture.  Perhaps there should be a rule change that does justice to the connection to place and doesn’t whitewash history.

    • West Marge August 27, 2023 (5:42 pm)


    • Jeff August 28, 2023 (3:08 pm)

      Where can we learn more about this PR campaign? This does NOT surprise me with Harrell one bit. 

  • Cid August 26, 2023 (8:09 am)

    I just love this!! Hope it will be respected and enjoyed for years to come. 

  • They see me trollin’ August 26, 2023 (8:10 am)

    I almost can’t believe how cool this thing is!! Bruunidon is beautiful! And she’s in the perfect spot under the trees where, of course, she should be (everybody knows that trolls like the shade!) And she’s playing for the orcas! I love it! What a great project. I’m so happy that we were included.

  • anonyme August 26, 2023 (11:28 am)

    I love how the dappled sunlight reflects the tree canopy onto Bruunidun’s face.  The theme of singing to the orca is so apropos given the passing of Tokitae this week.  Let one legend welcome home the spirit of another.

  • MW August 26, 2023 (12:57 pm)

    It’s a girl! Can’t wait to visit!

  • Lynn Y August 26, 2023 (2:27 pm)


  • McD August 27, 2023 (4:03 pm)

    Eden is lovely, so peaceful in the shade. Really fun to experience her along with kids, dogs and families at park today! 

  • Jen August 28, 2023 (11:04 am)

    Where in Lincoln park please?

    • WSB August 28, 2023 (11:13 am)

      Right behind Colman Pool.

    • Scott September 12, 2023 (12:10 pm)

      It’s along the path north of Colman Pool, off the trail toward the bluff. 

  • Wes Sea August 28, 2023 (5:07 pm)

    Rode my bike by today and did a triple take, then circled back to admire this beautiful beast. I can see this becoming a tourist draw. So well executed and great location.

  • Ursula August 28, 2023 (6:12 pm)

    What a sweet Troll she is! And a great name, too! Idun like the Norse goddess of youth. As long as the old gods ate her apples they stayed young forever (hey, what a sales pitch!). Wife of Bragi, the god of poetry. No wonder she plays and sings to the whales. See the big flute beside her, with carvings of fish and whales!  And Bruun in memory of Jens and Inger Bruun. What a great way to be remembered.She is so lovely and sweet, I want her baby! (Can we please get smaller size copies for the garden?)

  • Sandra September 4, 2023 (5:01 pm)

    We finally had a chance to walk there and see this wonderful troll today.  She sure is popular!  Thank you WS Blog

  • Claire September 14, 2023 (3:57 pm)

    Please, can you repair the graffiti? “If everything is covered in graffiti, nothing ever stands out.” Claire Rogers

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