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Title: Review of Juha Y. Pentikäinen, 'Kalevala Mythology'. Expanded Edition. Translated and edited by Ritva Poom. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press/Folklore Studies in Translation, 1999. Pp.xx, 297, with 41 black and white photographs. ISBN (cloth) 0-253-33661-9. $US 39.95. ISBN (paper) 0-253-21352-5. $US 18.95.
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 2000
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Abstract: In 1987 'Kalevalan Mythologia' by Juha Pentikäinen was first translated by Gaudeamus and then, in 1989, by Ritva Poom. Now the same latter scholar has translated as well the two additional chapters, 11 and 12, here added to her earlier version of Pentikäinen's work. Himself the professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Helsinki and a winner of the Chicago Folklore Prize, Pentikäinen is perhaps the best known current international scholar of epic, as in his 1997 articles on 'Epic' and 'Epic Laws' in Thomas Green (ed.), ABC-CLIO volume, 'Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music and Art', vol. 1. The classic interpretive text as issued in 1987 was an amazingly rich study of issues raised by the folklore compiled by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884), into the 'Kalevala', a vast work which itself led to the foundation of a strong Finnish identity during the nineteenth century, thus Powerfully influencing the formation of Finland as a nation. Pentikäinen's text is of twelve long chapters all interdisciplinary, as well as insightful into such matters as the dynamics of artistic creation, cultural construction, ethnic emergence and shamanistic belief systems. It is the first comprehensive study of the 'Kalevala' to appear in English, as well as going (far) beyond the identity issues so well brought to our attention by William Wilson's 'Folklore and Nationalism in Modern Finland' (1976). It must be noted, too, that the (shorter) text has been used in California as a graduate text for the study of Shamans and Shamanism, as well as being regarded as a classic text of the recording of the impact of presented culture upon the further folklore and culture of that same ethnic group.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Australian Folklore, v.15, p. 257-259
Publisher: Australian Folklore Association
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISSN: 0819-0852
Field of Research (FOR): 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
160403 Social and Cultural Geography
160303 Migration
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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