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The Kalevala and The Mysterious Sampo

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posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 03:54 PM
reply to post by Bybyots

nice link - bookmarked away safely for bedtime reading!

The 13th Warrior is a splendid movie too, way way way better than i expected as i first sat down to watch an Antonio Banderas movie that sounded suspiciously like Beowofl and wondering wtf to expect!

posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 03:54 PM
Re the Art in the OP, all of it is from the artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela iirc
Here is a link to his museum, though i dont believe you can view many pics here..
but you can view some here -
there are many other Kalevala related works by this artist and others that i did not have a chance to fit in - an image search for Kalevala etc will bring many

Robert Wilhelm Ekman also painted many scenes
though i do not enjoy his work half as much as Gallen-Kallela's

There is also a great website from the now Russian republic of Karelia with many related pictures
of which these are a few great examples

Ilmarinen forging the Sampo:


Lemminkainen's mother raising him from the dead:

The Rune Singers:

The men of Kalevala off to take the Sampo:

Louhi, Mistress of the Northland (The Land of the Dead):


posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 04:05 PM
I was thinking, something with 3 sides and a lid would be a Tetrahedron. Then I thought about it being made from metal and I instantly thought of a spear tip or these 3 sided ritual daggers used in Tibet (phurba)which often have a flag attached to it ie a colorful lid

posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 04:32 PM
reply to post by LUXUS

if you are interested in further investigation of the symbology etc, here is some more of the forging of the Sampo:

"O thou blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Master of the forge and smithy,
Canst thou forge for me the Sampo,
Hammer me the lid in colors,
From the tips of white-swan feathers,
From the milk of greatest virtue,
From a single grain of barley,
From the finest wool of lambkins?
Thou shalt have my fairest daughter,
Recompense for this thy service."
These the words of Ilmarinen:
"I will forge for thee the Sampo,
Hammer thee the lid in colors,
From the tips of white-swan feathers,
From the milk of greatest virtue,
From a single grain of barley,
From the finest wool of lambkins?
Since I forged the arch of heaven,
Forged the air a concave cover,
Ere the earth had a beginning."

Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Sought a place to build a smithy,
Sought a place to plant a bellows,
On the borders of the Northland,
On the Pohya-hills and meadows;
Searched one day, and then a second;
Ere the evening of the third day,
Came a rock within his vision,
Came a stone with rainbow-colors.
There the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Set at work to build his smithy,
Built a fire and raised a chimney;
On the next day laid his bellows,
On the third day built his furnace,
And began to forge the Sampo.

The eternal magic artist,
Ancient blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
First of all the iron-workers,
Mixed together certain metals,
Put the mixture in the caldron,
Laid it deep within the furnace,
Called the hirelings to the forging.
Skilfully they work the bellows,
Tend the fire and add the fuel,
Three most lovely days of summer,
Three short nights of bright midsummer,
Till the rocks begin to blossom,
In the foot-prints of the workmen,
From the magic heat and furnace.

On the first day, Ilmarinen
Downward bent and well examined,
On the bottom of his furnace,
Thus to see what might be forming
From the magic fire and metals.
From the fire arose a cross-bow,
"With the brightness of the moonbeams,
Golden bow with tips of silver;
On the shaft was shining copper,
And the bow was strong and wondrous,
But alas! it was ill-natured,
Asking for a hero daily,
Two the heads it asked on feast-days.

Ilmarinen, skilful artist,
Was not pleased with this creation,
Broke the bow in many pieces,
Threw them back within the furnace,
Kept the workmen at the bellows,
Tried to forge the magic Sampo.

On the second day, the blacksmith
Downward bent and well examined,
On the bottom of the furnace;
From the fire, a skiff of metals,
Came a boat of purple color,
All the ribs were colored golden,
And the oars were forged from copper;
Thus the skiff was full of beauty,
But alas! a thing of evil;
Forth it rushes into trouble,
Hastens into every quarrel,
Hastes without a provocation
Into every evil combat.

Ilmarinen, metal artist,
Is not pleased with this creation,
Breaks the skiff in many fragments,
Throws them back within the furnace,
Keeps the workmen at the bellows,
Thus to forge the magic Sampo.

and so on, after repeated tries (which echos into Regin forging Sigfreid's sword in the Volsung saga etc) the Sampo is finally made - the "rune" (or chapter) that this is from is not too long, and well worth a read.

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 07:25 AM
This Ilmarinen sounds very similar in some respects to the Irish Goibniu who forges magical weapons for the Tuatha Dé Danann who are known in India as the danavas, a tribe who were skillful in metalwork.

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by LUXUS

Absolutely, though the Celts/Britons/Gaels (etc) and the Finns are very distinct from one another both culturally and linguistically. i dont believe the Finns could be classified as part of the Indo-European groups at all.
Of course it's no surprise that iron age cultures revered the smith, they were the alchemists and magicians of the time. They turned dull rock into bright metal, making the seemingly impossible into reality - as well as usually living apart from the rest of the community and guarding their secrets closely.
I'd highly recommend reading the Kalevala, it contains a wealth of info on the outlook and beliefs of the time

edit on 20-3-2013 by skalla because: clarity

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 08:49 AM

Originally posted by skalla
reply to post by Aleister

Thanks, but dont dis the Tolk tho! I wont go into detail but but he made a myth for Britain or maybe more particularly the English, that was quite authentic in the sources it used re the cultures and legends that feed into the land. The scope of his work is much greater than most realise, unless they have taken their reading to The Silmarillion and beyond... i'll look into the booksellers link too, many thanks!

Then my apoligies to Tolkein and, more importantly, to Peter Jackson. You just wrote a very brief but concise description of his contribution to literature and mythology. As I admit, I'm not even a novice on Tolkein (saw the Ring movies, that's the extent of it) so I, of course, step aside to someone who actually has read more than three pages.

And again, I'm impressed by the scope and detail of this very good thread, so thanks again (I'll pop in another star somewhere along your trail here, or two!)

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 03:17 PM
Joseph Campbell discusses the Kalevala in his major works "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" and "Flight of the Wild Gander". If you're interested exploring the similarities between the Kalevala and other mythologies Campbell is always a good place to start. Also "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" is such an awesome book I recommend it to everyone who frequents this forum (i'm sure most of you all ready have checked it out, but if you haven't I recommend you do).

Also I feel like Tolkien was more than just inspired by the story, he pretty much got the whole idea for the LoTR from it. That's not to say LoTR isn't epic in its own right.
edit on 20-3-2013 by IndianaJoe because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:04 PM
Thank you very much for this thread, I really appreciate folklore and myths of creation

I have read about it in an old Uncle Scrooge comic, where the story was depicted through them, DOn ROsa was the author I think. There are many myths/stories that he explores, to mention a few: Shambala, Cresus, the philosphical stone, and it also goes through the Australian dreamtime myth through the youth of the old rich one (fans would know), etc.

Thanks again, made my day !
If you have some more of these, please post !

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:21 PM
reply to post by IndianaJoe


i'm a big fan of Campbell, though i have yet to get a copy of "Flight of the wild Gander" i do have "Hero..." and "the Masks of God" amongst others - i really love his work on comparative mythology though it's a hell of a long time since i read "thousand faces" (there are a bunch of thread one could do from that, i've even used the premise of the book in therapeutic work which i may talk about some time in the future) - i'll have to take a look at the Kalevala bits now you've jogged my memory.. thanks for reading!

ETA: i dont wholly agree re: LOTR, but i'm holding back on discussing that too much as i'm a Tolkien geek and i'll just start to rant and ramble

edit on 20-3-2013 by skalla because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:26 PM
reply to post by Animus974

I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Cosmology, Myth and Story are some of my great loves - i'm writing another thread as we speak, somewhat similar but more about story than myth, i expect to have it posted in the next couple of days

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:58 PM
Interesting myth. I've only heard of this artifact before when MST3K lampooned some film titled "The Day The Earth Froze". (Despite the stories being interesting enough, that film still is funny in a corny way.) I guess it also shows that MacGuffins have been popular as a plot device even before that particular term was coined to describe it.

posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by pauljs75

Thats a really good parody, it's made from a soviet film i linked on the first page.. the Sampo is as you point out an early MacGuffin. i first read of the Sampo in a novel based on the building of stone henge that i read some 25 years ago or more, possibly called "Circle of the Sky", though i could not find any trace of it online etc - thanks for posting, it gave me a real giggle.

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