5 Things You Didn’t Know About Finnish Mythology
Finnish mythology is a fascinating thing. It’s a unique blend of Finnish and Swedish traditions, and it has some interesting stories to tell. If you’re not familiar with it, here are five things you should know.
1. The Creation of the World
Finnish mythology is full of fascinating stories about the creation of the world. One of the most popular stories is about the birth of the first humans.
The story goes that two gods, Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen, were creating the first humans out of clay. However, they were not happy with their creations and decided to destroy them.
Luckily, a third god, Louhi, intervened and saved one of the human figures. This figure was then brought to life and became the first man on earth.
The woman was created in a similar fashion, but she was not brought to life until Väinämöinen had sung a magical incantation over her.
These two humans were then left to fend for themselves in the wild world that had been created for them. They had to learn how to survive on their own and build their own lives from scratch.
This story provides a fascinating glimpse into Finnish mythology and its take on the creation of the world. It is also a reminder that we all have to make our own way in life and that we are all capable of great things if we set our minds to it.
2. The First Humans
The first humans in Finnish mythology are said to have emerged from the primordial waters of the world. These water beings are known as the Ahtoja, and they are associated with both freshwater and saltwater bodies of water. The first humans were born to two Ahtoja who had been trapped in a net by a giant fish. Once they were freed, they gave birth to a son and daughter. The daughter was named Ilmatar, and she is associated with the air and wind. The son was named Väinämöinen, and he is associated with music and poetry.
3. The Birth of Finland
The birth of Finland is shrouded in mystery, but there are some potential theories about how the country came to be. One popular theory is that Finland was created when a giant ice sheet covering the area melted and formed the landmass we now know as Finland. Another theory suggests that Finland was created by two gods, Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen, who carved the land out of the primordial sea.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Finnish mythology has some fascinating origins.
4. The Sampo
The Sampo was a magical artifact that appeared in Finnish mythology. It was a mill that grinds out whatever the owner wished for, be it salt, gold, or grain. The Sampo was also said to bring good fortune and protect its owner from harm.
The first mention of the Sampo is in the Kalevala, an epic poem compiled from old Finnish oral traditions. In the poem, the Sampo is created by Ilmarinen, the god of blacksmiths and metalworkers. He forges it as a wedding gift for Louhi, the witch queen of Pohjola.
Louhi is so pleased with Sampo that she offers Ilmarinen anything he desires in return. He asks for her daughter’s hand in marriage, but she refuses and sends him away empty-handed. Enraged, Ilmarinen destroys Sampo.
This act sets off a chain of events that leads to a great war between Pohjola and Kalevala. In the end, the heroes of Kalevala triumph, and Louhi is defeated. The surviving fragments of the Sampo are thrown into Lake Ladoga.
Väinämöinen is the protagonist of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. He is a wise old man who knows all the magic words and songs. Väinämöinen is often described as an eternal or semi-eternal sage, although he is mortal.
In the first part of the Kalevala, Väinämöinen arrives in Pohjola, where he tries to woo the beautiful maidens. However, they are not interested in him and instead prefer the young and handsome Joukahainen. This leads to a bitter rivalry between the two men.
Väinämöinen eventually manages to win over one of the maidens, Aino, but she drowns herself rather than marry him. This causes Väinämöinen to go on a journey to the land of Tapiola in search of a new bride. Along the way, he encounters many challenges and adventures.
In Tapiola, Väinämöinen meets another maiden, Ilmatar. She agrees to be his wife, but only if he can find her a magical Sampo – a machine that grinds out salt, flour, and gold from beneath the earth. After many trials and tribulations, Väinämöinen finally succeeds in obtaining the Sampo. However, it is then stolen by Louhi, the ruler of Pohjola.
It’s clear that Finnish mythology is both unique and interesting, with a history that spans back centuries. If you’re looking to learn more about other cultures and their mythologies, then we recommend checking out some of the other articles in our series. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.