The character of Väinämöinen is central to the Finnish epic the Kalevala. But from reading about him and the stories online, I can't figure out whether he was a god or a mortal man. Some of the myths claim that he played a role in the creation of the world (but as the first man rather than as a god?) Later on he seems to have a more human role, e.g. seeking a bride for himself. It seems that he must have lived for a very long time, but is he immortal or simply long-lived?

What is Väinämöinen: a god, an immortal, a hero, a human, ... ?

1 Answer 1


Väinämöinen is the immortal wizard of magic and poetry.

WAINAMOINEN, ancient minstrel,
Passed his years in full contentment,
On the meadows of Wainola,
On the plains of Kalevala,
Singing ever wondrous legends,
Songs of ancient wit and wisdom,
Chanting one day, then a second,
Singing in the dusk of evening,
Singing till the dawn of morning,

  • The verse you've quoted says that he's an "ancient minstrel", but it doesn't say he's an "immortal wizard of magic and poetry". Please can you edit to justify your conclusion better and address the things mentioned in the question?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 23, 2018 at 8:29
  • Well on Finnish verse he is called a 'Tietäjä' Vaka vanha Väinämöinen, tietäjä iän-ikuinen, Which can translated as wizard. and his spells are in form on poems. So you can call can him a wizard.
    – Oni
    Nov 23, 2018 at 12:54

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