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Kalevala

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Sampo was a Magic Mill that Produced Riches

Ilmarinen the Smith sought as his bride the daughter of the mistress of Pohjola. Ilmarinen used simple materials to devise a magic mill that would yield its owner good fortune, riches and power for ever as a gift for his intended's mother.

The Kalevala Tells of Many Heroic Battles

Here Väinämöinen and Louhi, mistress of Pohjola, engage in a furious struggle for ownership of the Sampo, the magic mill of good fortune and riches. The hero characters of the Kalevala are expected to perform great and amazing deeds. The women are the cause of or reward for the heroic deeds.

Aino Myth is like a Cartoon from the 19th Century

Akseli Gallen-Kallelas (1865–1931) triptych is a depiction of Kalevala's story of Aino and Väinämöinen in three parts. The first part of the story is on the left and second on the right panel. The last part is in the middle panel.

Gallen-Kallela's had women close to him model for Kalevala art works

Akseli Gallen-Kallela's (1865–1931) Lemminkäinen's Mother is based on Kalevala's story, where the warrior and rake Lemminkäinen dies. His mother picks up his pieces from the Tuonela river and puts them back together. Gallen-Kallelas mother was his model for this painting.

Iku-Turso is a sea monster from Kalevala

Louhi, the Mistress of the North put a spell on Iku-Turso to kill the people of Kaleva. When Väinämöinen met Iku-Turso he made it promise never to rise against people again. Then he let the sea monster go. It has kept it's promise ever since.

Ilmatar Gave Birth to the World – and Väinämöinen

Ilmatar was a sky goddess, who descended to the sea. A tufted duck layed an egg on her knee. As the egg hatched, earth, sky, sun, moon and stars were born. Ilmatar became pregnant of the wind and gave birth to Kalevala's sage, Väinämöinen.

Väinämöinen made the first instrument

Kantele is a symbol for creativity and the power of art. Väinämöinen built the first instrument from the jawbone of a huge pike and later from birch wood. Its strings were a young girl's hairs. At the end of the epic Väinämöinen goes away, leaving his kantele behind for future generations.

Daughters of the North were supernaturally beautiful

Here Väinämöinen is playing the Kantele. Among the listeners are the daughters of Pohjola's mistress Louhi. They are sitting on the rainbow. Louhi’s daughters were supernaturally beautiful and therefore many of the heroes of the Kalevala were interested in them.

The Sad Fate of a Young Woman

Aino became a popular theme in art towards the end of the 19th century and later. She was promised as bride to Väinämöinen. Aino objects and flees her home. At the lake shore she removes all her jewellery and clothes and joins the realm of the water nymphs.

Väinämöinen is one of Kalevala's heroes

Väinämöinen is the hero of many poems in the Finnish epic Kalevala. He is born as an old man of the goddess Ilmatar. He won many battles with mystical creatures such as Iku-Turso on his adventures.

Lemminkäinen is an adventurer

Lemminkäinen is one of the Kalevala's central heroic characters. He has many adventures in love and war. He is a sorcerer and sage, but also a bully and a killer. He is a ladies' man who finds it difficult to keep his promises, but also persists in pursuing his goals through any obstacles.

Honey was the ingredient that gave life to Lemminkäinen

The adventurer dies when he encounters the swan, holy bird of the river of Tuonela, death's realm. His mother draws his body to the river bank. Nature comes to the grieving mother's aid when a bee fetches healing honey. She anoints him with honey to bring him back to life.

Kullervo had Man's Strength as a Baby

Kullervo's story is an unfortunate developmental story of a young man. He has already at birth the powers of an adult man that he can not control. Thus begins a vicious spiral of homelessness, neglect, failure, revenge and violence.

Aino in Art is like the Finnish Venus

Among artists, Aino naked at the water's edge is the part of the story chosen most frequently as a subject. Many interpretations are reminiscent of the Venus and water nymph themes popular throughout the history of art.

Väinämöinen is one of Kalevala's heroes

Väinämöinen is the hero of many poems in the Finnish epic Kalevala. He is born as an old man of the goddess Ilmatar. He won many battles with mystical creatures such as Iku-Turso on his adventures.

Aino of the 1980s Punk Generation

Here the contemporary artist reinterprets the iconic 19th century painting. The art work is quite faithful to the landscape, details and atmosphere of Akseli Gallen-Kallela's work. It shows punk references from the 1980s and comments on the change in women and men's roles in society.

In the end Väinämöinen leaves the lands of Kaleva

In the last poem of the Kalevala, the sage Väinämöinen gives a bad verdict. Embarrassed, he sails away from the lands of Kaleva. He leaves his kantele and songs to the people. A boy born to a virgin becomes the new ruler of the land. The story is thought to tell of the arrival of Christianity.

Wild Beasts Help Kullervo in his Revenge

Kullervo is sold as a slave and sent out to live in the forest to watch over the cattle. There he breaks his knife on a stone baked into the bread he was given, and curses his master's household. Beasts of the forest help him to kill the whole family and their animals as a revenge.

Lemminkäinen died and was brought back to life

Lemminkäinen had many adventures while doing the tasks Louhi, the Mistress of the North gave him before promising him her daughter for his bride. On one of the tasks he had to shoot the Swan of Tuonela. He died in Tuonela due to an attack by a competing wizard. His mother brought him back to life.

The North was a Land Ruled by a Matriarch

In Kalevala The North, called Pohjola, is a land, where life is good, but which sends disease and frost to south to afflict the daily lives of Kalevala's heroes. The North is ruled by Louhi, the Mistress of the North, who uses her magic to spread and cure diseases and control the weather.