Religion, Myth, and Folklore in the World's Epics, II

II. "Result"






Epic Cycles

Matti Kuusi



Kalevala as Epic

Va:ino: Kaukonen




Epic Cycles

Matti Kuusi


p. 137 Ingrian and Estonian variants of the Kalevala

"In the cosmogonic poem of the {pagan} Ingrians a swallow, its eggs having been blown off the hummock into the sea by the wind, flies to a smith's and forges a rake with which it collects the fragments of egg from the sea to form the sun and moon.

In ... Karelia ... Va:ina:mo:inen used a giant rake forged by Ilmarinen to find a piece of fishbone and turn it into a kantele. ...

In the Kuusalu region of Estonia the bird broods until its chicks are hatched and then gives them different tasks : one becomes a smith who forges ... a golden bride.

The ... Savo-Karelians {who, incidentally, constituted the bulk of immigrants to "New Sweden" (Colony of Delaware)},

{Savo is Kuopio + Mikkeli, adjoining districts in eastern Finland} {Savolaksfinner (Savonian Finns) are also known as Rugfinner (Rye Finns) from their major crop, or notably Svedjefinner (Slash-and-burn Finns).}

sang about a swallow that made its nest in the bows of a ship. As the boat rocked, its egg rolled into the water, and island was born and on it a maiden whom many came to court."

p. 138 mythic making of several implements : sampo, rake, and kantele

"epic-singing familiesin the northwestern parts of ... Karelia ... present : Va:ina:mo:inen is drifting northwards when the Mistress of the North ... demands that ... he must forge a Sampo, at which Va:ina:mo:inen ... manages to persuade Ilmarinen to do it for him. ... . ... Va:ina:mo:inen, on being commanded ..., has a rake made, uses it to find a piece of fishbone on the bottom of the sea to be made into a kantele, which he then plays."

{Gravel, so raked as to simulate the sea with its waves, occupieth courtyards of many S^into and Zen temples. "Singing fish" may refer to whales, whose songs, sung underwater, can be heard underwater from miles away.}

p. 138 other motifs

"A few ... motifs, such as the description of how the mistress, early in the morning, sweeps the floor and ...

{With this "early in the morning", compare the "begotten at the beginning of the day" (LI, s.v. "Aonghus", p. 21a) of progeny on the wife of ELcMAR [= ILMARinen].}

the introduction of Ilmarinen as forger of the sky ...,

{He is a blackmith, a forger of iron. Likewise in Kemetic cosmology (e.g., in the Pyramid Texts), the sky is considered to consist of iron [because meteors are typically composed of mainly of iron].}

are also to be found in other contexts outside ... Karelia."

LI = Da`ith` O` hO`ga`in : The Lore of Ireland. Boydell Pr, Woodbridge (Suff.), 2006.

pp. 138-9 aequivalents to the Karelian Sampo

p. 138

"In certain other Karelian redactions ... the decisive assignment is producing a vast pike from the Tuonela river.

The pike may in earlier versions have been a sturgeon

{"In some Ojibwe and Cree folklore, a drowned Rolling Head turned into the first sturgeon." ("LNAF -- RHCH")} {"The fragments of the Sampo ... had rolled into the sea" (SHA, p. 362).}

p. 139

("sampi") ... .

The Izhors, a tribe related to the Karelians,

{/Iz^or/ is an alterative name for /Ingria/.}

have a redaction of the Giant Oak

[supra pp. 137-8 "the Giant Oak ties in with the epic about the origin of the world in two ... variants ... in ... Karelia (SKVR I 35 and 47), likewise in on Estonian redaction."]

at the end of which a brother uses fragments of oak to build a miraculous sauna which is called Kirjamo ... .

The sauna is subsequently stolen and taken away in a boat."

{With this "boat" cf. the "raft" ("MFM") whereon Manabus^ floated to encountre Mas^e-nomak, whose name signifieth ("LNAF -- M-NBS") 'Big Sturgeon'.}

"LNAF -- RHCH" = "Legendary Native American Figures: Rolling Heads (Cannibal Head)".

SHA = James Baldwin : The Sampo : Hero Adventures from the Finnish Kalevala. NY : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912.

"MFM" = "Mashenomak, the Fish Monster".

"LNAF -- M-NBS" = Legendary Native American Figures : Mashe-Namak (Big Sturgeon)".

p. 139 put to sleep by music

"the crossing of the three waters and sighting the gates of the North are found more often in the boat trip poem ... .

The playing of the kantele ends with the listeners falling asleep ... in ... boat trip variants found in Ladoga Karelia."

{Cf. Argos Pan-optes's being lulled-to-sleep by the playing of music.}

pp. 138, 140 lid-of-many-colors {iridescent-interiored flying saucer (ridden within by, e.g., Orfeo Angelucci), or a hatch opening thereinto?}

p. 138

"the task set the suitor ... of producing a 'lid of many colours' ... . In the Kiimasja:rvi redaction this is the only task".

p. 140

"In the only variant from Paatene the son-in-law gets not only the bride but also the 'lid of many colours', which he made as one of the tasks set him. But his mother-in-law ... flies after the young couple in the form of an eagle and seizes it.

The son-in-law strikes her with an oar,

{Into Thesprotia, Odusseus carried an oar which thereat was mistaken for a "winnowing-bat" ("TWOA") : perhaps because the fanning away of chaff in winnowing is similar to the whistling expulsion of breath (HD, p. 69b) denoted by /hoe/, the term for 'oar'.}

at which the lid falls into the water.

{In United-States naval manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean at the conclusion of the 2nd World War, flying saucers were witnessed plunging into the ocean.}

The son-in-law makes a rake and rakes the seabed for a kantele with which he captivates the inhabitants of the forest and the water."

CN"TWOA" = Cliffs Notes "Trojan War — Odysseus' Adventures".

{"Odusseus [traveling thereto under the name /Nanos/] died in the Etruscan city Gortyna" (DCM, s.v. "Odysseus", p. 322a), a place-name cognate with Skt. /JARTU/ 'vulva' : so as to indicate an affinity with [written Sept 19 2015] him who famously died by being chewed-to-death by goddess Hine-nui-te-Po's vagina dentata, namely Maui-POTIKI (cf. [MM&L, s.v. "Whakatau", p. 245a] Whakatau-POTIKI, i.e. the youngest of his brethren).} {

p. 140 freeing of the sun

"In the Festschrift to Hans Fromm (... Fenno-Ugricae 1979:165-180) ... the poem about ... the Freeing of the Sun ... appear to have had ... the golden millstone over the Ilomantsi ... stealer".

{"the sun was stolen away from the sky by the crafty witch Louhi, gap-toothed mistress of icy North Farm, who used a magical song to freeze the sun inside a metal mountain." (GPMI&R, p. 221).}

GPMI&R = Patricia Monaghan : The Goddess Path : Myths, Invocations & Rituals. Llewellyn Publ, St Paul (MN), 1999.

pp. 141-2 the maid-of-the-North

p. 141

"The Malinens' version of the wooing competition still a closing episode in which the maid is given to the one to whom she was promised : Ilmarinen the smith ... . ...

"The Malinens end at the point where Ilmarinen gets the maid, and Va:ina:mo:inen sets

about making a golden bride."

"in the Ladoga Karelia ... Wooing ... it is the maid who is chased : although she is transformed into various

{Cf. pursuit of the Nut-Brown Maid by the Coal-Black Smith.}

p. 142

figures, the smith catches her ... he finally sings his bride into a seagull on a rock."

{"The sea-gods ... transformed her [Inoi] into [Leuko-thea], the White Goddess" (DCM, s.v. "Leucothea", p. 259a), to wit, a seagull.}

p. 142 singer is swallowed

"On the way back the maid orders Ilmarinen to sing ... . ... Ilmarinen at first refuses to sing, but finally gives in.

Pohjolainen hears him singing and swallows him, just as

Ukko Untamoinen swallowed the fetcher of the 'lid of many colours' in the Olonetsian redaction of the Wooing."

pp. 142-3 the golden bride {cf. golden goddess Kamala}

p. 142

"the golden bride is ... a continuation of the wooing contest : ...

p. 143

in Ladoga Karelia the winner seeks consolation when his bride is turned into a seagull by making a golden bride ... . ... In Kuusalu, Estonia, ... the smith, both there and in Ingria ..., enfuriated by the women's scolding, ... sets about making a golden bride. ... The golden bride got involved in the courting tasks".

p. 150 giant oak

"In Ingria fragments of the oak are made into a miraculous sauna ...; a certain Virpoi lifts the sauna onto his back and carries it to his boat and the shores of Estonia. Theoretically such associations ... reflect a more archaic epic plot ... about the giant oak ... an incantation historiola on

the birth of Pistos (disease)."

{/PISTos/ = /PEST/ in /Buda-Pest/, wherein the /BUDDHA/ is contrasted with goddess /Jayis.t.ha/ (/Jyes.t.ha/) = /Pest/, i.e. 'pestilence'.}



Kalevala as Epic

Va:ino: Kaukonen


pp. 157, 160 successive enlargements to his compilation, by Elias Lo:nnrot (1802-1884)

p. 160

"in accordance with Vaassila's suggestion ..., in November 1833, he moulded together his former drafts to form the 5.000-line Collected Songs about Va:ina:mo:inen, which posterity has called the Proto-Kalevala".

p. 157

"Old Karelian Poems about Ancient Times of the Finnish People, appeared in 1835-36, ["there also had to be room for lyrical songs, the chief source of which was the Kanteletar published in 1840" (p. 163)] the second edition of almost twice the size and simply called the Kalevala, in 1849. The poems of the Kalevla -- 32 in the first edition and 50 in the second -- constitute the epic".

p. 165

"The numerous articles on the Kalevala written by Lo:nnrot himself and the commentaries he drew up for his lectures ... are preserved in the archives of the Finnish Literature Society (Lo:nnrotiana 121) and some of them were published by Lo:nnrot at the end of the abridged Kalevala (Lo:nnrot 1862:341-411)".

pp. 165-6 cantos mainly about Va:ina:mo:inen

p. 165

"The first two cantos in the epic present the cosmogony of the Kalavala universe, this being supplemented by the fragment on Antero Vipunen's account of the origin of the world in canto 17 (17:541-552). ...

Cantos 3-6 tell of the contest of wisdom between Va:ina:mo:inen and Joukahainen ... . In his distress Joukahainen, a young striping from Lapland, promises his sister AIno as Va:ina:mo:inen's wife and thus brings on her untimely death. ...

p. 166

On Aino's death, Va:ina:mo:inen sets off ..., but due to Joukahainen ... he arrives with the help of an eagle in a sorry state. ... . ... the maiden weaving "taivon kannella" (on the lid of heaven) ... sets ... the trials demanded of suitors ... . The third task, fashioning a boat, is not completed".

{Because of the "sitting" "on" (p. 166) the lid-of-many-colors by a "weaving"-woman, there may be an allusion to women's woven clothing, as, e.g., the woman's flying skirt shot out of the sky by an archer in Iban myth; and the lid's falling into the sea could otherwise be repraesented by a woman's clothing entring the sea, as (MM&L, s.v. "Whakatau", p. 245b) "When his his mother Apakura throws her girdle into the sea, Whakatau is fashioned the girdle, then nourished and taught by his ancestor Rongotakawhiu [/whiu/ 'to throw, to fling' (because the mother flang the girdle)] . A swift sprinter alike unto Akhilleus, at the bottom of the ocean the boy flies kites, so that to those on shore only the kite and its string are visible above the water." According to Manobo mythology, flying saucers are each towed by cord (similarly as with kites), enabling transportation of the human population into another world : this transportation (known as the Rapture-into-Heaven) is to be accomplished by an armada of colorwheel-hued flying saucers (PFL). The meaning "to cause to alight" (M-PCD, p. 484) of /whaka-tau/ could imply causing the mass-landing of the flying saucers.} {The malo ('loincloth') of a male which the mother by way of transvestism donned in order "to sleep" [cf. the falling sand passed through in entring the dream of the Abyss of Sandalpo^n (according to practitioners of the Golden Dawn)] on a "beach" (in the east-Maui variant -- HM, p. 229) is most reminiscent of queen Omphale's transvestitely donning of a man's (Heraklees's) clothing in order to sleep; but it is also likened to the variant wherein (HM, p. 231) Whakatau is formed by god Rono[-ta-ka-whiu] when Apakura's apron is left "on the sand."} {Alike unto Akhilleus who avenged Patroklos (GMI"A"), Whakatau avenged Tu-huruhuru ('upright-hairy'), who had received his name in the praesence of (TIAM, p. 112) Kae who subsequently became (TIAM, p. 113) a laugher, and abode in a facsimile-house (TIAM, p. 114, fn. *) [possibly referring to the verisimilitudinous mimicry of dream-worlds] : such as similarly from Yis.haq 'Laughter', <es`aw the hairy was intended to receive an inheritance, but that inheritance was transferred to Ya<qob, whose son dream-interpreter Yo^-SeP's name is perhaps cognate with that (namely, the /Hapai/ < */SaPai/) of the sanders (PM, p. 73) of Tu-whakararo [a name perhaps alluding to Raro-hena].}

PFL = Prepare For the Landings!

M-PCD = Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. Lyon & Blair, Wellington, 1891.

GMI"A" = Greek Myth Index, s.v. "Achilles".

TIAM = Richard Taylor : Te Ika a Maui : or, New Zealand and Its Inhabitants. London : Wertheim & MacIntosh, MDCCCLV.

PM = George Grey : Polynesian Mythology & Ancient Traditional History of the New Zealanders ... . 1854.

pp. 167-9 cantos about Lemminka:inen, Ilmarinen, and Kullervo

p. 167

"about Lemminka:inen (cantos 11-15) ... . ... He manages his first task, which is to catch the elk belonging to Hiisi ..., and to bridle Hiisi's gelding, but his attempt ... on the river leading to Tuonela, the underworld, proves fatal.

The "watery-hatted herdsman" of Pohjola kills him {"is killed by a poisoned arrow fired by Wet Hat, a vengeful cowherd who has been slighted by Lemminkäinen in a singing contest" ("FFMA-A")} and casts him into the river,

{LEiMoN was "killed ... shot ... with an arrow" (DCM, p. 255b) when he imagined himself slandered to Apollon, the god sponsoring singing-contests.} {Another devotee of Apollon, namely Orpheus, is killed by women who "resent his fidelity to" his own wife (DCM, p. 332b).}

{LoMNa, a fool, is killed when he "betrays the adulterous affair of" one of the wives (DCeM, p. 268b). As with Orpheus, "his severed head speaks".} [written Sept 18 '15]

where the "bloody son of the Underworld" hews him into pieces."

p. 168

"the wooing contest (cantos 16-20). ... Just as Va:ina:mo:inen in canto 8 and Lemminka:inen in canto 13, Ilmarinen is now set certain tasks, all of which he manages."

p. 169

"The second Lemminka:inen episode (cantos 26-30) is a tale of adventure ... that ends with the death of the master of Pohjola and the ensuing adventures "with the island virgins"".

"the Kullervo episode (cantos 31-36) has ... connection with ... the death of Ilmarinen's wife, the maiden of Pohjola, at Kullervo's hand".

"The turning point could be described as a didactic poem ... telling how

a golden maiden was forged (canto 37)".

{The goddess "with golden skin" ("GKIG") is Kamala (who is one of the 10 Maha-vidya goddesses).}

"FFMA-A" = "Finnish Folklore Meets Avant-Garde Art".

DCeM = James MacKillop : Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford Univ Pr, 1998.

"GKIG" = "Goddess Kamala, Indian Goddess".

{The goddess shooting to death Leimon is Arte-mis, whose name is, etymologically, a compound of Skt. /r.c/ 'verse' (referring to the poe:sy sponsored by Apollon) + /Maya/ 'magic', name of the wife (as deducible from his own epithet /mayin/) of water-god Varun.a = Finnish "Water-Hat". This "water-hat" would consist of bog-vegetation, which (as horsetails or whatever) seem to crown the hat of Maya God Z (Madrid Codex, p. 33b -- "BGP", p. 105, Fig. 13), having the head of God M at his waist -- the pair aequivalent to Cairbre with the living decapitated head of Lomhna (LI, s.v. "Fionn mac Cumhaill", p. 239b).}

"BGP" = David H. Kelley : "Birth of the Gods at Palenque". ESTUDIOS DE CULTURA MAYA 5 (1965):93-134.

LI = Da`ithi` O` hO`ga`in : The Lore of Ireland. Boydell Pr, Woodbridge (Suff.), 2006.

pp. 169-71 cantos about the mistress of Pohjola

p. 169

"The final section of the epic (cantos 38-49) tells about ... the mistress of Pohjola ... .

p. 170

... the mistress of Pohjola is finally forced to submit, to return the lights in heaven she has stolen ... . The events begin with

Ilmarinen' new journey of wooing to Pohjola, which ends in the abduction of the maiden

{Among "three sisters, all daughters of Ealcmhar," is Badhbh, who

and ultimately her rejection, turned into a seagull."

becometh a "skald crow" (LI, p. 26b).}

"[Canto 41.] The kantele is tried out in Pohjola too, but Va:ina:mo:inen alone is able to play it, and in such a way that all Creation is enchanted. ...

Va:ina:mo:inen ... in place of the kantele now lying on the sea bed eagerly makes a new one out of birchwood and with it again charms all Creation (canto 44).

Cantos 45-49 ... deal with the attempts ... of the mistress of Pohjola ... . Through his mighty charms against disease Va:ina:mo:inen rids the people of Kalevala of disease and illness. The

p. 171

felling of the bear sent to slaughter the cattle and the resulting feast turn into a major festival. The threat ... caused by the vanishing of the lights in heaven is finally removed when the mistress of Pohjola ... releases the sun and the moon from the stony hill of Pohjola."

p. 171 departure of Va:ina:mo:inen {cf. the departures of Quetzal-coatl, of Vira-cocha, etc. etc.}

"the last [viz., 50th] canto in the Kalevala ... is connected with ... Marjatta's half-month-old body ... . An old man {cf. S^im<o^n (Simeon) in Euangelion kata Loukas 2:25-35, indicating the swords piercing the Immaculate Heart of B.V.M.} christens the boy king of Karelia ... .

... Va:ina:mo:inen sets off by boat ..., "toward the upper reaches of the world, to the lower reaches of the heavens", and as he departs

he predicts that he will one day be needed again".

{If ever a false religion (such as Lutheran Protestantism) were to arrive, he would return in order to abolish it.}

p. 175 minor deities {on these, vide "FMD&DH&H"}

"Alongside the main characters there are others ... :

Lokka, Ilpotar,

Osmotar and Annikki, skilled in the affairs of the household, ...

Kyllikki of large family, and

Lemminka:inen's telltale {tattletale} sister Ainikki,

the helpless and submissive master of Pohjola,

{He is submissive to his own wife; just as is the case with the Iban Netherworld, which is ruled by a goddess whose husband is subservient to her.}

the brothers Untamo and Kalervo ...,

the warrior Tiera, ... and many others."

"FMD&DH&H" = Molly Kalafut : "Finnish Mythology : Deities & Demons, Heroes & Humans".


RELIGION AND SOCIETY, 30 = Lauri Honko (ed.) : Religion, Myth, and Folklore in the World's Epics. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 1990.