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Kalevala Summary
Elias Lönnrot

Everything you need to understand or teach Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot.

  • Kalevala Summary & Study Guide
  • 9 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 Kalevala Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

Kalevala Summary


The Kalevala is Finland's national epic, drawn from a rich oral tradition with roots stretching back more than two millennia. Its compiler was Elias Lonnrot, a physician and folklorist who travelled throughout the Finnish-Russian borderlands recording the lyrics, ballads, charms, and epics sung by the rural people. From these poems (called runes) he assembled a coherent whole, a literary epic which fired the imaginations and the national consciousness of the Finnish people.

Steeped in magic, by turns dreamlike and dramatic, the Kalevala recounts the mythic history of the ancient Finns in a series of fifty poems. Its heroes are the sons of Kaleva: the wise shaman Vamamolnen, the skillful smith Ihnarinen, and the feisty warrior Lemminkainen. Stories of their interactions with one another, the spirit world, the natural world, and with their northern neighbors, the tribe of Pohjola, unfold in the resonant, musical cadences of Finnish oral poetry.


(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Kalevala Study Pack contains about 214 pages of study material in 10 products, including:

Kalevala Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

Kalevala Lesson Plans contain 124 pages of teaching material, including:

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