Kalevala

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Kalevala is an epic poem that wis pittin thegither frae Finnish fowklair bi Elias Lönnrot in the 19t century. For ordinar it is cried the naitional epic o Finland an is tradeetionaly thocht o as ane o the maist important warks in the hail o Finnish leeteratur. It is jaloused bi some that the settin furth o Kalevala fendit some o the inspirin for the naitional waukenin that in the end won Finland's unthirldom frae Roushie in 1917, as weel as bein a gey important wark in the heezin o the Finnish leid.

Syne the Finnish leid haesna ony airticles, definite or indefinate, sae it is a tait inaccurate for fowk tae cry the epic The Kalevala, as juist Kalevala is mair near the Finnish. The name means something like launds o Kaleva syne the Finnish suffix -la/lä means steid.

The epic conseests o 22,795 verses, sindert intae fifty cantos or chaipters. Twa Finnic tribes/fowks, the Kvens an the Karelians is discussed braidly in Kalevala.

Kalevala. The national epic of Finland John Martin Crawford, 1888

Compilin[eedit | eedit soorce]

Elias Lönnrot (1802–84) wis a beukman an a district dug raiser in Kainuu, an eastren pairt o Finland that in his time wis an autonomous Graund Duchy. The son o a teylor in the clachan o Sammantti, he cam intil the varsity in Turku (that is replaced bi the Varsity o Helsinki the nou) in 1822 an stairtit his vaiges for tae ingaither poems in 1827. He gaed oot on a tot o elieven field trips durin a period o fifteen year.

The Poetry[eedit | eedit soorce]

Balto-Finnic fowk poetry an sangs haes been aboot for mair nor twa thoosand year but wisna written doun till the 1670s, follaed bi a few ingaitherers athin the neist centuries. In the 19t century, ingaitherin became mair extensive an seestematic. Awthegithir, awmaist twa million verses wis ingaithert athin that time. O thir, aboot 1,250,000 haes been pitten furth an some 500,000 haesna been setten furth in the archives o the Finnish Literature Society an the collections in Estonie an the Republic o Karelia an ither pairts o Roushie. Lönnrot an his contemporars (e.g. A.J. Sjögren an D.E.D. Europaeus) ingaithert maist o the poem variants (ae poem micht hae up tae twa hunder variants) skailt ower aw the airts o Kaerlia an Ingria amang the landart fowk. They notit carefu the name o the singer, his or her eild, the steid o the shawin an the date in their records. Athin his fowert field trip in September 1833 Lönnrot got the thochtie that the poems micht weel represent a braider conteenuous tradeetion whan poem entities wis performed tae him alang wi comments in ordinar speak connectin them. The poetry wis for ordinar sung tae tuins biggit on a pentachord, whiles assistit bi the kantele. The rhythm coud chynge, but the tuins wis sortit in aither twa or fower lines, o whit ilkane haed five beats. Whiles the poems wis performed antiphonally, whiles they war pairt o a "sangshaw" atween the bairds o the tradeetion. Mauger the muckle geographic distances an cultural spheres sinderin the indiveedual singers, the poetry wis aye sung in the same metre, sae cried archaic trochaic tetrameter. Its ither formal featurs is alleeteration, parallelism an inversion intil chiasmus. The chronology o the oral tradeetion isna siccar kent. The seeminly auldest themes (the shapin o the yird) haes been interpret tae hae their oreegin in distant pre-history while the seeminly latest events (e.g. the comin o Christianity) seems tae be frae the Airn Eild.

O the dizzens o poem singers that contributit tae Kalevala, signeeficant anes includes:

  • Arhippa Perttunen (1769 - 1840)
  • Matro
  • Ontrei Malinen (1780 - 1855)
  • Vaassila Kieleväinen
  • Soava Trohkimainen


Lönnrot’s contribution tae Kalevala[eedit | eedit soorce]

Lonnrot2.jpg

Lönnrot arranged the collectit poems intae a mair or less coherent hail. In daen sae he merged thegither poem variants an chairacters an left oot verses that dindna fit or wrate a puckle lines o his ain for tae connect certain pairts intae a logical plot. He e'en inventit a few names that coud be uised for a chairacter in the hail story. It haes been estimate that Kalevala is made up o: ae third o wird for wird recordins bi the ingaitherers, 50% o material that Lönnrot adjustit a bittie, 14% o verses he wrate himsel based on poem variants an 3% o verses juist o his ain makkin. Whit can be thocht o as Lönnrot's maist important contribution is the arreengment o the poems. In the preface tae Old Kalevala (Februar 1835), Lönnrot hielichts the possibility that awbody ither nor himsel coud wale different poems an varients an that Kalevala wad aye be as genuine as it wis on the day that it wis completit. As a maiter o fact, Lönnrot eikit some 3,000 verses o poem variants tae the end o Old Kalevala for ithers tae compear, but thir haes syne quat bein includit in the new edeetions o the epic.

Settin Furth[eedit | eedit soorce]

The first version o Lönnrot's compilation wis cried Kalewala, taikka Wanhoja Karjalan Runoja Suomen Kansan muinoisista ajoista (that gaes ower intae Scots as Kalevala, or auld Karelian poems anent the bygane o the Finnish fowk), kent forby as Old Kalevala. It wis pitten oot in twa volums in 1835-6. Old Kalevala haed 12,078 verses or thirty-twa poems. Lönnrot didna stop ingaitherin new material that he intigrate intae a seicont edeetion, Kalevala, pitten oot in 1849. This New Kalevala is the staundart text uised for ordinar the day.

Owersettins[eedit | eedit soorce]

Kalevala haes been translate intil fowerty-nine leids, but as yet no intae Scots. The maist common an braidly kent Ingles translation the day is bi the poet Keith Bosley (1998)

Owerview[eedit | eedit soorce]

Cantos 1–10: The first Väinämöinen cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Makkin o the yird; the first man; the encoonter atween Väinämöinen an Joukahainen; Joukahainen haundfasts his sister tae Väinämöinen in exchynge for no bein killed; Aino (Joukahainen's sister) gaes intil the sea; Joukahainen's revengin; the woundit Väinämöinen fleets tae Pohjola (Northland); Väinämöinen meets the Maid o the North an hechts the Mistress o the North tae gie her the Sampo in exchynge for the haund o her dauchter; Väinämöinen swicks the smith Ilmarinen intae Pohjola whaur he maks the Sampo.

Cantos 11–15: The first Lemminkäinen cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Lemminkäinen chores the maid Kyllikki o the Isle; they mak a vou; she forleits her vou; Lemminkäinen gaes tae Pohjola for tae speir tae be haundfastit tae the Maid o the North; things Lemminkäinen maun dae for tae be haundfastit tae her; ski for the Ill Ane's elk, bridle the Ill Ane's horse an shuit the Swan o Tuonela (the laund o the deid); a herd kills Lemminkäinen an horses his corp intae the River o Tuonela; Lemminkäinen's mithir wauks him tae life.

Cantos 16–18: The seicont Väinämöinen cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Väinämöinen gaes tae Tuonela for tae meet Antero Vipunen for tae get spells for boat-biggin an sails tae Pohjola; Ilmarinen an Väinämöinen competes wi ilk ither for the haund o the Maid o the North.

Cantos 19–25: Ilmarinen's waddin[eedit | eedit soorce]

Ilmarinen duis the things he needit for tae help o the Maid; pleuchin the veeper-field, lowin the wowfs o Tuonela an catchin the ged oot the River o Tuonela; the waddin o Ilmarinen an the Maid o the North; the story o the brewin o the ale.

Cantos 26–30: The seicont Lemminkäinen cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Lemminkäinen is resentfou for no been invitit tae the waddin; he gaes tae Pohjola an wins the fecht wi the Maister o the Northland; an airmy is conjurt for tae get back at Lemminkäinen; at his mither's rede he flees tae the Isle o Refuge; returnin hame he sees that his hoose haes been burnt doun; he gaes tae Pohjola wi his fere Tiera for tae get revenge but the Mistress o the North freezes the seas an Lemminkäinen haes tae gae back hame.

Cantos 31–36: The Kullervo cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Untamo kills aw his brither Kalevo's fowk except fer his guidwife wha begets Kullervo; Untamo gies Kullervo several tasks bot sabotages thame aw; Kullervo is sauld as a slave tae Ilmarinen; efter being tormentit bi Ilmarinen's guidwife, he taks revenge an the guidwife is killed; Kullervo runs awa an finnds his family unharmed near tae Lapland; Kullervo seduces a maiden an later finnds oot that she is his sister; Kullervo destroys Untamola (the kintra o Untamo) an upon returnin hame finnds ilka bodie killed; Kullervo kills himsel.

Cantos 37–38: The seicond Ilmarinen cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Ilmarinen maks fer himsel a guidwife oot o gowd an siller, bot finnds her tae be cauld an discards her; Ilmarinen then chores the sister o the Maid o the North frae Pohjola; she snashes him sae he discards her; Ilmarinen tells Väinämöinen o the carefree, guid life o the fowk o Pohjola because o the Sampo.

Cantos 39–44: The plunder o the Sampo (third Väinämöinen cycle)[eedit | eedit soorce]

Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen an Lemminkäinen sail fer tae get the Sampo; they kill a muckle pike o whas jaw bane the first kantele is craftit; Väinämöinen lulls ilkane in the hall o Pohjola tae sleep wi his liltin an the Sampo is chored; the Mistress o the Norland conjures a muckle airmy, chynges hersel intae an eagle an fechts fer the Sampo; the Sampo faws intil the sea.

Cantos 45–49: Louhi's revenge on Kalevala[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Mistress o the North sends the fowk o Kaleva diseases an a bear fer tae kill their kye; she hides the Sun an the Muin an chores fire frae Kaleva; Väinämöinen an Ilmarinen restore fire an Väinämöinen forces the Mistress tae gie bak the Sun an the Muin tae the lift.

Canto 50: The Marjatta cycle[eedit | eedit soorce]

Marjatta gets impregnatit frae a berry she ate an gies birth tae a son, whilk is an allusion tae Mary an Jesus (In the Finnish leid Maria means Mary an marja means berry) ; Väinämöinen orders the killin o the lad; the lad stairts tae speak an reproaches Väinämöinen fer ill walin; he is then baptised king o Karelia; Väinämöinen sails awa.


Chairacters[eedit | eedit soorce]

Väinämöinen[eedit | eedit soorce]

The main chairacter o Kalevala is Väinämöinen, a shamanlike hero wi the maigical pouer o sangs an muisic. He wis born o the gey auld Maiden o the Air an contributes tae the makkin o the yird. Monie o his travels resemble shamanlike journeys, maist notably the ane in whilk he veesits the belly o a grund-gyan, Antero Vipunen, tae finnd the wurds o boat generation. He plyes at the kantele, a stringed instrument frae Finland that lueks like an is plyed like a zither. Ane o his kanteles is made frae the jawbane o a muckle pike. His search fer a guidwife is a central pairt in monie stories; he finndsna ane, bot. Fer ane exemplar o the guidwifes, Joukahainen's sister Aino, droons hersel instead o marryin him. He also pairt o the group wha chore the Sampo frae the fowk o Pohjola.

Seppo Ilmarinen[eedit | eedit soorce]

Seppo Ilmarinen is a heroic artificer-smith (wha cuid be comparit tae the Germanic Weyland an mibie the Greek Daedalus an aw) wha craftit the Dome o the Lift, the Sampo an a wheen o ithir things forbye. Ilmarinen is also ane o the group wha chore the Sampo.

Louhi[eedit | eedit soorce]

Louhi the Hag o the North, is a shamanlike mithir o a fowk rivillin they o Kalevala wha at ane pynt in the epic pulls the Sun an the Muin frae the lift an chores the fire awa frae the fowk o Kalevala. She rules ower Pohjola alain efter Lemminkäinen haes killed her guidman, Maister o Pohjola. She haundfasts her dauchter tae Ilmarinen in exchynge fer him biggin the Sampo.

Joukahainen[eedit | eedit soorce]

Joukahainen is Väinämöinen's yung rival, wha promises his sister Aino tae Väinämöinen efter he is defeatit in a liltin contest. Joukahainen tries tae gain his revenge on Väinämöinen bi killin him wi a crossbow. He succeedsna, bot whit he haes duin leads tae Väinämöinen promisin tae big the Sampo in exchynge fer Louhi rescuin him.

Kullervo[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sel-dingin, vengefou Kullervo wis borns as a slave, sauld tae Ilmarinen an gien wark bi Ilmarinen's guidwife, wham he later kills. Kullervo is the ainlie truly tragic chairacter in Kalevala, wha cannae be redemit bi onything he daes. He aften gaes intae a berserk raige an in the end kills himsel. In monie wies he servit as the template fer JRR Tolkien's chairacter Túrin Turambar.

Lemminkäinen[eedit | eedit soorce]

Bonnie bot arrogant, Lemminkäinen is the third member o the group whilk chores the Sampo frae the fowk o Pohjola. Efter he is murderit, his mithir haes tae rescue his corp frae the River o Deid whilk runs through Tuonela an bring him bak tae life (whilk brings tae mynd the Egytian meeth o Osiris).

Influence o Kalevala[eedit | eedit soorce]

As a muckle pairt o Finnish cultur an historie the influence o Kalevala is gey skailed; frae leeterature tae metal muisic, frae fine airts tae film. Tae a lesser degree, the influence o Kalevala influence haes been notit in ithir culturs aroond the wurld..

Celebratin[eedit | eedit soorce]

Kalevala Day is celebratit in Finland on the 28t o Februar, whilk is hou Elias Lönnrot datit his first edeetion o Kalevala in 1835. A tait o the names in Kalevala are celebrates as Finnish name days forbye, altho this haesna onie direck relation tae Kalevala itsel.

Airtwark[eedit | eedit soorce]

Mair nor a tait o airtists hae been influencit bi Kalevala, maist notablie Akseli Gallen-Kallela wha haes pentit monie warks relatin tae Kalevala. Ane o the eirliest airtists tae depick a scene frae Kalevala is Robert Wilhelm Ekman. Ane drawin frae 1886 depicks Väinämöinen plyin at the kantele. Aarno Karimo wis a Finnish airtist wha illustratit the bonnie Kuva Kalevala (1953). Wanachancelike he deid afore finishin it, bot Hugo Otava wis able tae complete it uisin original sketches as a guide.

Leeteratur[eedit | eedit soorce]

Kalevala haesnae ainlie been translatit intae ower fowerty-nine leids bot haes been retauld in a wheen o leids an adaptit tae deefferent situations. The maist weil kent exemplar o the influence o Kalevala on anithir scriever is maist likely wi JRR Tolkien. He aye thrieped that Kalevala wis ane o his soorces fer the scrievins whilk becam The Silmarillion. Fer exemplar, the story o Kullervo haes been uised extensively in The Silmarillion (includin the swaird that spak what the anti-hero uises it fer suicide) as the basis fer Túrin Turambar in Narn i Chîn Húrin (as a side note, the Finnish fer ee is silmä). Ithir echoes o Kalevala chaircarters, Väinämöinen in particular, ar also tae be funnd in the weezards o The Lord Of The Rings.

The German leid translation o the epic wis the gell fer Longfellow's 1855 poem, The Song of Hiawatha whilk is scrieved in the same metre an also inspirit the Inglis sci-fi scriever tae scrieve The Books of Mana, Lucky's Harvest an The Fallen Moon.

It is aften thrieped that the naitonal epic o Estonia, cryed Kalevipoeg]] (pit thegithir an scrieven bi Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, first pittin oot in 1853) wis sumwhit tiftit bi Kalevala, mainly because baith Väinämöinen an Ilmarinen are mentionit in the poem an the oweraw story o Kalevipoeg (Kalev's son) haes sum muckle seemilaties wi the Kullervo story.

Muisic[eedit | eedit soorce]

Muisic is like as no the airt whilk haes taen the maist influence frae Kalavala, whilk is wycelike syne the poems wer performit muisically bi fowk lilters. Because o fowk muisic historie o Kalevala there hae been a tait fowk muisic albums an collections baised on or threipin tift frae Kalevala.

Like as no the maist famous Kalevala inspired muisc is that o the classical composer Jean Sibelius. Twal o his best kent warks ar baised on an influenced bi Kalevala, maist notably his Kullervo Symphony. There is also thrie operas baised on Kalevala (Sammon ryöstö, Marjatta an Thomas) composit bi Einojuhani Rautavaara.

Classic muisic, howeever isnae the ainlie area o influence. The wis a Finnish ogressive rock baund cryed "Kalevala" in the 1970s, wha pit ott thrie albums.

The Finnish metal baund Amorphis hae baised several concept albums on Kalevala uisin the first translation fer the leerics, an ar weil kent fer uisin Kalevala as a soorce o tift fer their ain leerics forbye. Their albums maist obvious o their albums whilk ar influecit bi Kalevala ar Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Elegy an Eclipse. Fowk metal baund Ensiferum ar amang a wheen o fowk metal baunds wha hae baised sum o their wark on Kalevala, sic as their sangs Old Man an Little Dreamer whilk ar anent Väinämöinen.

In 2003, the Finnish progresive rock magazine Colossus and Musea Records frae Fraunce incencit 30 prog-rock baunds frae aw ower the warld tae scrieve muisical pieces baised on gien pairts o Kalevala. The risult wis a thrie-disc, multileid, fower hour epic o the same name, an is aften thocht o as ane o the maist ambeetious muisical projecks o aw tyme.

Film[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1959 a jynt Finnish/Soviet production cryed Sampo (kent forbye as The Day the Eart Froze) wis pit oot, whilk tuek its gell frae the story o the Sampo frae Kalevala.

The martial airts film Jadesoturi (kent forbye as Jade Warrior) is baised on Kalevala an set in Finland an China.


Historic interpretations o Kalevala[eedit | eedit soorce]

A wheen o interpritations fer the themes in Kalevala hae been pittin forart. Sum parit o the epic hae been seen as antient fechts atween the Finnics an the Samis. In this context, the kintra Kalevala cuid be unnerstuid as Southron Finland an Pohjola as Lapland. Houever, the names o steids in Kalevala seem tae pit the kintra o Kalevala furder South, whilk haes been interpritit as refelctin the Finnic reddin o the South whilk puished the Samis furder tae the North. Sum beukmen pit the kintra o Kalevala in Eist Karelia, whaur maist o the Kalevala stories war scrieven doun.

Those wha support the theory o a Southron Kalevala thriep that the name Kalevala wis first recordit in an atlas o al Idrisi in the year 1154, whaur a clachan cryed qlwny (or mibie tlwny) is recordit. This is maist likely tae be presint day Tallinn, caipital o Estonie, kent in auld Eist Slavic soorces as Kolyvan. The Finnish wurd Kalevan ("o Kaleva") haes almaist the same meanin as Kalevala. The Saari (lit. "The Isle") micht be the isle o Saaremaa in Estonia, while the fowk o Väinölä micht hae sum resemblin wi the Livonian clan o Veinalensis in presint day Latvie, menshinit in the 13t century chronicle connectit tae Henry o Livonia. Antient Finns, Estonies an Latvies speaks seemilar Finnic byleids an ar jaloused tae share a common ancestry.

Houever, Matti Kuusi an Pertti Anttonen thriep in their bueuk Kalevala Lipas (1985) that sic terms as "the fowk o Kalevala" or "the clan o Kalevala" ar purely the makkin o Elias Lönnrot. Forbye, they pynt oot that the wurd "Kalevala" is gey rare in tradeetional poetry an that bi pittin emphasis on dualism (i.e. Kalevala agin Pohjola) Elias Lönnrot creatit the tension needit fer makkin Kalevala dramatically successful an sae fit fer a naitional epic.

See Forbye[eedit | eedit soorce]