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Kalevala Mythology (Folklore Studies in Translation) Paperback – 1 May 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253213525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253213525
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,023,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Juha Y. Pentikainen, Professor of Comparative Religion at Helsinki University and Docent in Folkloristics and Comparative Religion at the University of Turku, has published numerous articles and more than ten books, including Cultural Minorities in Finland, and the Chicago Folklore Prize-winner Oral Repertoire and World View.Ritva Poom writes about Finnish and Estonian culture. Her translations of Finnish and Estonian literature and ethnography have appeared in Literary Review, Scandinavian Review, Drama Review, and Ethnologia Fennica. Her translation Fog Horses received an award from the Columbia University Translation Center. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Pentik einen's exceptional interdisciplinary study will richly reward those interested in the dynamics of artistic creation and cultural construction, ethnic emergence and political nationalism, and shamanistic belief systems." - American Anthropologist " ... a splendid contribution to the literature on folk epics ... " - The Scandinavian-American Bulletin

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ric on 25 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book - well written. The Kalevala needs to be looked at in the wider context of north European myth, everything is connected. The Kalevala is a collection of folklore shaped into a national epic, so take that with a pinch of salt. What is rewarding are the many folk motifs which point a way back into prehistory, so this is a fascinating read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x942f4f18) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9439ad50) out of 5 stars An interesting behind-the-scenes look at Kalevala 1 Mar. 2003
By Matthew Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's been 11 years since I read this book, so forgive me if I'm vague; someone's gotta write these reviews, though.
Kalevala Mythology is a multifaceted work that looks both at Elias Lonnrot's compilation of mainly Karelian folk songs and stories, both in its final form and in the Old Kalevala, and at the shamanic tradition from which the stories first sprang forth.
The chapters on the compilation and revision of the published Kalevala serve as a brief overview of Lonnrot's biography and reveal the political motives that helped drive the 19th Century interest in Finnish ethnography. Consideration is given to the singers who were Lonnrot's sources and of how the work evolved from Lonnrot's notes to the Old Kalevala to the final form of the epic. This leads to an analysis of the songs, looking at the three main characters and what they can be thought to represent along with inclusions such as the Kullervo story and Runo 50 concerning Marjatta and her son. This analysis then leads to an examination of the tribal Finnish culture that still existed after the introduction of Christianity to Finland, using parallels between Finnish and Sami and other Finnic cultures' shamanic traditions to add depth to the picture.
All told this would be a boring book to most people. Chances are that if you've actually read Kalevala, though, you already have a vested interest in the origins of Finnish culture. I found that the book did much to help me understand Kalevala as a mirror of my ancestors' tradition, as a catalyst to the formation of the modern state of Finland, and as a source of the identity to Finns throughout the world today.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9469f51c) out of 5 stars excellent information on the kalevala 5 Nov. 2005
By Kalle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is an inspiration, not only in its dealing with mythical themes in the Kalevala, but also with the life and experiences of Elias Lonrrot, its creator. Pentikainen draws important parallels between Lonnrot's life: his bored existence in remote Kajaani, his relative old age at the time of his marriage, the death of his nephew and a girl from drowning on the way to church. Anyone who knows the Kalevala will see how they might impact on his recording of Finnish folktales in the 19th century. The result is a book that gives one renewed respect, not only for the achievement of the Kalevala itself, but also for its personal elements, that help emphasise how Lonnrot was both a precursor and an inspiration to Tolkien.

I do have one nitpick, which I have not allowed to detract from my rating, since I may be missing something. Ritva Poom's otherwise excellent translation consistently translates "poem" (in Finnish, "runo") as "rune" throughout. This seems like such a strange affectation that I can't help but wonder if it is not an outright error. But this is only a minor issue with a very informative book.
HASH(0x944edb88) out of 5 stars Recommended for study of The Kalevala 12 Jun. 2016
By Ilovebooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone studying the Kalevala, this is a helpful guide. It traces how this national myth was composed and collected. This work outlines the people who were the sources of the "rune songs" of which the Kalevala is composed, and the objections to the order of composition.

The Kalevala can be as illogical as many national myths, but as in any work studied in comparisons of myth and religion, it serves as a valuable resource in untangling themes.

This is not a work of world religion. It is on the history and collection of the Finnish national myth.
HASH(0x9e6b7d98) out of 5 stars Not a Beginner's Guide to the Kalevala Epic. 20 Jan. 2016
By J. Trester - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for a person that has some background or knowledge in folklore or mythological studies. The author often refers to other sources with minimal explanation. He bases his dissection of the epic poem upon comparative studies of myth and folktales. However, he does an extensive explanation of how the epic was "created" in the 19th century by Lonnrot out of runes sung by Karelian rune singers. An interesting read none the less.
HASH(0x946a4924) out of 5 stars Great book for students of comparative mythology or Finnish culture. 5 Aug. 2014
By Thomas Pare' - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great book for students of comparative mythology or Finnish culture.
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