Characters Discussed


Kaleva, the ancestor of all heroes. Although he never appears in the poem, he is one of the unifying principles of this saga, which is put together from the Finnish folk tales of many generations.


Väinämöinen, the singer-hero, who is the Son of the Wind and the Virgin of the Air. Seeking a daughter of Louhi, the witch, for his wife, Väinämöinen is required to furnish the mother with a magic Sampo that grinds out riches. He provides the Sampo, but the daughter chooses another man for a husband. A large part of Väinämöinen’s story is then concerned with his efforts to recover the Sampo and the catastrophic results of his theft.


(The entire section is 364 words.)