THE WORLD'S CREATION AND THE BIRTH OF WAINAMOINEN
Long, long ago, before this world was made, there lived a lovely maiden called Ilmatar, the
daughter of the Ether. She lived in the air, there were only air and water then, but then she grew
tired of always being in the air, and came down and floated on the surface of the water.
Suddenly, as she lay there, there came a mighty storm-wind, and poor Ilmatar was tossed
about helplessly on the waves, until the wind died down and the waves became still, and Ilmatar
sank beneath the waters. Then a magic spell overpowered her, and she swam on and on trying to
rise above the waters, but always unable to do so.
Seven hundred long years she swam, until one day she could not bear it any longer, and
cried out to great Ukko, ruler of the skies, to come and help her. No sooner had she ended her
appeal to Ukko than a lovely duck flew down out of the sky, looking for a place to land; but it found
none. Then Ilmatar raised her knees above the water, so that the duck might have a rest upon.
them .When the duck saw them it flew towards them and, without even stopping to rest, began to
build a nest.
When the nest was finished, the duck laid in it six golden eggs, and a seventh of iron. Three
days the duck sat on the eggs, and all the while the water around Ilmatar's knees grew hotter and
hotter, and her knees began to burn as if they were on fire. The pain was so great that it caused her
to shake all over and the nest fell off her knees, and to the bottom of the ocean and broke in pieces.
But these pieces came together into two parts and grew to a huge size, and the upper one became
the Heaven and the lower one the World. From the white part of the egg came the moonbeams, and
from the yellow the bright sunshine.
At last Ilmatar was able to raise her head out of the waters, and she then began to create the
land. Wherever she put her hand there was a lovely hill, and where she stepped she made a lake.
Where she dived below the surface, there are the deep places of the ocean, where she turned her
head towards the land there grew deep bays, and where she floated on her back she made the hidden
rocks and reefs where so many ships and lives have been lost. Thus the islands and the rocks and
the firm land were created.
After the land was made Wainamoinen was born, but he was not born a child, but a full-
grown man, full of wisdom and magic power. For seven whole years he swam about in the ocean,
and in the eighth he left the water and stepped upon the dry land. Thus was the birth of
Wainamoinen, the wonderful magician.
Text source: http://www.munseys.com/diskfive/finleg.pdf