JUMALA (FINNISH GODS)
Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)
Location/Base of Operations: Taivas
Known Members: Ahti (god of the sea), Akka (Gaea), Äkräs (god of fertility), Ilmarinen (god of metal & invention), Nyyrikki (god of the hunt), Surma, Tapio (god of the forest), Tuoni (god of the underworld), Ukko (god of the sky), Vammatar (goddess of pain & suffering)
Affiliations: Other races of Gods
Aliases: Taivasian or Finnish gods
First Appearance: Thor I#300 (October, 1980)
Powers/Abilities/Traits: The Jumala all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Jumala are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If a Jumala is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates a Jumala or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased god before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Jumala flesh and bone are about three times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 30 tons; an average goddess can lift about 25 tons. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many Jumala also possess additional superhuman powers that may be magical in nature. For instance, the pain and suffering goddess Vammatar possesses a number of innate sorcerous powers that enable her to project powerful magical bolts as well as revive and control the dead.
History: (Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Jumala (also known as the Finnish or Taivasian gods) are a race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who have been worshipped by the Finno-Ugric and Sami people of Northern Europe from 500 BC until the 13th century AD. Most of the Jumala dwell in Taivas (also known as "Lintukoto"), a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an interdimensional nexus between Taivas and Earth known as Linnunrata, the "Path of the Birds," enables quick travel between the two realms. Very little is known about Taivas other than it appears to be built on a small planetary object. The Jumala are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the sky god Ukko is also known as "Perkele" in Finnish and "Uku" in Estonian.
The precise origin of the Jumala, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the first Sky Father Ilmarinen emerged from the extradimensional realm of Taivas and used his hammer to shatter the Cosmic Egg that predated all of existence, using its primordial contents to give shape to the physical world. He also used the contents of the Cosmic Egg to create lesser godlings who came to be known as the Jumala; however, it is unclear whether the Jumala race originated on Earth, Taivas, or in another dimension linked to Taivas. After forging the sky, sun and moon with his hammer, Ilmarinen chose to relinquish his role as Sky Father and live on Earth among mortals as a blacksmith. He was succeeded as Sky Father by his son, Ukko.
With the primordial Earth Mother Gaea (known as "Akka" or "Ilmatar" to the Jumala), Ukko fathered subsequent generations of gods. Each god was given dominion over a distinct aspect of nature. From his lavish underwater kingdom of Ahtola, the querulous Ahti ruled the seas alongside his wife Vellamo. The wise Tapio, with assistance from his wife Mielikki and son Nyyrikki, served as the guardian of the forests and its animal inhabitants - especially the swans and bears that were sacred to the Jumala. The benevolent Äkräs served as a champion of the mortals and protected their crops. The dispassionate death god, Tuoni, ruled the nether realm of Tuonela, and stationed his monstrous canine familiar, Surma, at the entrance of his kingdom to discourage intruders. Tuonela was also inhabited by Tuonetar, Tuoni's mistress and the mother of his daughters: Kipu-Tytto (goddess of illness), Kivutar (goddess of disease), Loviatar (goddess of plague), and Vammatar (goddess of pain & suffering).
Armed with his magic metal hammer Ukonvasara, Ukko valiantly defended his realm from all threats, including the wicked, goblin-like Hiisi forest spirits and the duplicitous shapeshifting water spirit, Näkki. In the following millennia, Ukko also represented the Finnish pantheon at the Council of Godheads on several occasions. In approximately 1000 AD, the extraterrestrial Celestials' Third Host came to Earth, and the Asgardian ruler Odin assembled the heads of Earth's godly pantheons to discuss the threat at the first known meeting of the Council of Godheads. Ukko was one of the gods present to select Zeus, Odin and Vishnu as delegates to confront the Celestials.
Most recently, Ukko was again present when Athena, the Olympian goddess of wisdom, convened a meeting of the Council of Godheads to discuss the threat posed by the extraterrestrial Skrull gods Kly'bn and Sl'gur't. Ukko and the Council assembled a delegation consisting of the Olympian Hercules, the Eternal Ajak, Snowbird of the Northern gods, the Shinto god of evil Mikaboshi, and Demogorge the God-Eater. This "God Squad" preemptively attacked and killed the Skrull gods, although Mikaboshi feigned his own death and secretly seized control of the extraterrestrial deities once enslaved by the Skrull gods.
The realm of the Finnish Gods was called Kalevala. This is also the name of one of the few existing works describing them.
Vammatar is a Hyborian Era
sorceress. Her name is an obvious derivation of:
Vammatar, the Finnish goddess of evil and misfortune, daughter of Tuoni (god of the underworld (Manala)) and Tuonetar (goddess of the death);
The River of the Underworld is known as Tuonelan Joki, which means "The River of the Place of Tuoni (Manala).
Tuonetar and Tuoni are not very famous gods and are often viewed as a pair.
I'd love to connect the two, but since it's unlikely for either to be seen again, explanations will not be forthcoming.
Louhi is another Hyborian Era sorceress,
involved with the Hyperboreans.
Louhi is the frozen goddess who rules the other-dimensional realm of Pohjola, one of the worlds in the Cosmology of the Finnish Gods.
Connections unknown. Maybe there's something to this?
http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/finnishmyth/indexbasenor.html has been recommended by as a good resource for the Finnish Gods.
Vammatar was mentioned in the Council of Godheads entry in OHotMU 2006#3.
The main image in this profile is by Kevin Sharpe.
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p32
Last updated: 02/09/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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