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Finnish folklore: information sources in English: Kalevala and Kanteletar
The Kalevala, compiled and edited by Elias Lönnrot, is the national epic of the Finns.
SKS supported the folklore collecting journeys of Lönnrot in Finland and Karelia, and published the works that were based on the results of those field trips: the Kalevala (1835, 1849) and the Kanteletar (1840). The Kalevala is based on epic folk poems, whereas the main sources of Kanteletar are lyrical folk poems.
There are several English translations available of both works. The Kalevala is the most translated book in Finnish: it has been translated into approx. 60 languages.
The Kalevala collection at SKS Library
The Finnish Literature Society's Kalevala collection is one of the world's most complete. The collection contains
the Finnish editions of the Kalevala
Finnish abridgements and adaptations
translations and abridged and adapted translations into sixty languages
The books in the Kalevala collection are not available for check out, but the open shelf Cultural Research Collection (call number D-H) contains a selection of Kalevala editions that can be borrowed. They are in Finnish and other languages.
Kalevala information pack
SKS's Kalevala information pack contains information on the epic and it's background, origin and impact. The pack is available in Finnish, English and several other languages (except the complete text of the Kalevala, which is available only in Finnish).
"After the 16th-century bishop Mikael Agricola, Elias Lönnrot was the second father of written Finnish. He created the national epic, the Kalevala, and edited dictionaries and periodicals. An expert in many fields, he became a strengthener of national self-esteem; his authority united national culture across the boundaries of language and politics."
Raija Majamaa. Translated by Fletcher Roderick.
The Kalevala Society and Kalevala Guide
You can find information about The Kalevala, it's translations and Elias Lönnrot on The Kalevala Society's webpages.
A selection of articles from the Kalevala Guide is available online:
Irma-Riitta Järvinen, English-language editing by Leila Virtanen.
Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2010.
This book is a English-language guide to the Finnish national epic. The Guide explains Kalevala's contents, characters, places and themes. It also explores myths of origin and the significance of the epic.
Juminkeko - The Information Center for the Kalevala and Karelian Culture
You can find information about the creatorof the Kalevala, Elias Lönnrot, and the birth site of the poems, the Viena Karelian villages, on Juminkeko website:
Translation and notes by Keith Bosley ; with an essay by Senni Timonen.
Helsinki : Finnish Literature Society, 1990.
I will sing of what I know is a selection of fifty lyrics and ballads from the Kanteletar, sung by generations of men and women living ordinary lives.