Kalevala Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does the storyteller describe in the introductory stanzas?

The storyteller describes his desire to pass on ancient legends the way his father and his mother did and how he collected and preserved the tales he heard. He begins by telling how the world was made.

2. What happens when the Daughter of the Air comes to earth?

The Daughter of the Air is renamed the Water-Mother and is impregnated by the sea, but she is unable to give birth. She swims all over the world in search of relief from her painful, protracted pregnancy, and she is spotted by a bird who is also looking for a place to make a home and give birth. The bird rests on her knee and lays several eggs, but as they're hatching, the Water-Mother jumps up and spills the eggs into the water where they break. Over time their shells form land, shaped by the Water-Mother, who has yet to give birth to the child within her.

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