Stories from the Finnish Epic: The Kalevala
Chapter 2 - Aino And The Queen Of The Lake) as told by Jane Valencia.
as told at the Seattle Storytellers Guild Epic Event
at the Nordic Heritage Museum on March 25th, 2017.
(Click to listen: 16.5 Minutes)
Jane Valencia is a harper and storyteller who enchants all ages with tales infused
with ancestral wisdom ways, folklore, nature's magic, and beautiful music
Find out more at www.foresthalls.org/wordpress/
(Runos IV,V and part of VI)
Aino goes to the forest to gather twigs and birch branches and meets with Väinämöinen, he asks her to be his and his alone and she responds with contempt, tearing her jewels and bangles from her person stating that she would rather wear the garb of a simple farm girl than be married to him, she runs home weeping.
hen she arrives home she receives little sympathy from her father, brother or sister and when she goes for consolation to her mother she tells her to stop weeping and to prepare for married life. Aino's mother tells her of her younger life when she was a bride and tries to instruct her in married life, but Aino does not want to listen, instead she goes away weeping for days while her mother once again tries to console her.
Aino wanders to the storehouse and dresses in the finest clothes and jewels, she wanders through the countryside bewailing her lot, singing as she walks. She comes to a bay and over the water sees three maidens washing, she feels she should join then and throws her fine garments on the harsh rocks of the bay and proceeds to swim towards the rocky outcrop where the maidens are located. She reaches the rocky island and it sinks beneath her taking her form and soul with it.
A hare sets out from the waters edge to take the message of her death to her family. When her mother hears the tragic news she bitterly laments. She then weeps for days, her tears forming three large rivers.
Vainämöinen hears of Aino's death and laments throughout the days and nights, he prepares his boat and fishing tackle and sets out to the water. He catches a fish and draws it into his boat, he is amazed at the fish as it is unlike any fish he's ever seen before, he prepares to cut the fish and it slips from his fingers.
The fish addresses him disdainfully, telling him that she is Aino in fish form come to be his companion and not to be cut to pieces, she leaves and tells him that he will never see her again. Väinämöinen tries to capture her again, he weaves a net and dredges the water but does not find the Aino-fish.
Väinämöinen laments at his stupidity and rashness, he calls to his long dead mother who advises him that he should seek a bride in Pohjola, a worthy bride of fair complexion and bright eyes.
Väinämöinen sets out upon his journey to Pohja. Joukahainen however had not forgotten his loss in the singing competition and the loss of his sister and his humiliation, he held a deep rage against Väinämöinen and plotted to kill him, he created a frightening crossbow, its string the hair from the Elk of Hiisi itself.
Joukahainen waits for Väinämöinen to pass by, he waits for a long time and one day he spies something on the horizon, confusing it for a cloud at first he soon realizes it is the ancient wizard himself…
© 2017 - Barry McWilliams and Seattle Storytellers Guild