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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/41

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Magic Songs of the Finns.


The origin of fire is well known, its genesis can be guessed. Fire, a creation of God, a creation of the Creator, originated from the word of Jesus, from the gracious mouth of God, above nine heavens, above nine heavens and a half The Virgin Mary, the dear mother, the holy little maid rocks fire, nursed it in a doorless, wholly windowless room. She carried fire in a birch-bark vessel to the point of a fiery promontory.

Fire was christened there. Who stood godmother to fire — who godfather ? A maiden came from Pohjola [v. the sky], from the snowy castle [v. the air], from the centre of an icy spring, from an icy well's recess. She could bear to touch it with her hands, to hold it in her fingers. Juhannes, the very best priest, christened the boy. The name they gave him was Fire (Panu), he was entitled Darling Fire {Tulonen), to be kept by day in the hollow of a golden hearth, to be concealed at night in an ashy tinder-bag.


Höyhenys[1] of the Panutars[2], Lemmes of the Lentohatars[3] carried a child for about nine months. When the time drew near, the time for lightening, she ran waist-deep into the water, up to her girdle in the sea. There she brings forth her child, gives birth to a boy. She could not bear to touch him with her hands, to hold him in her grasp. From that she knew him to be fire, was warned that he was fire.

Who indeed rocked fire? The luckless girl of summer

  1. From höyhi, a feather, a snowflake. She was an air-maiden that caused snowflakes, hoar-frost, etc., and was invoked to bring ice to cool burns (Loitsurunoja, p. 251).
  2. Daughters of Panu (fire), son of the sun. A Panutar (Loitsurunoja, p. 250) is invoked to come and quench fire.
  3. A winged creature, from lento flight, flying.