Kalevala Essay

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In the following essay, Miller discusses the importance of the Finn's national epic to a sense of national pride and as an historical artifact.

It is said that "the Finnish people through the Kalevala actually sang themselves into existence" (Eino Friberg, in The Kalevala, Epic of the Finnish People, 1988). What made this epic such a powerful unifying force during a period of national awaken-mg? For the Finns, the Kalevala was more than simply a collection of fifty poems compiled by a country doctor in his spare time. It was "a portrayal of Finnish mythology," "the mythological dream of the Finnish people," and "a statement of the worldview of the Finnish people" (Juha Pentikainen, "The Ancient Religion of the Finns"). Through Kalevala poetry, the Finns developed a language and a system of symbols for describing and envisioning their world.

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This section contains 139 words
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Buy the Kalevala Study Guide
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Kalevala from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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