'Tales from Kalevala | Olipa Kerran Kalevala' is an easy and modern approach to Finnish National Epic Poem, Kalevala.
This project is an illustrated book that tells in an appealing way the stories from the poem, making it the perfect tool for anyone that wants to approach Kalevala.
This book is a bilingual edition, English + Finnish.
What is Kalevala?
Kalevala is the compilation of more than 50 poems that Elias Lönnrot gathered for many years during his trips across Finland in the 19th Century.
They are ancient songs and traditional poems from the areas of Karelia and Finland. Even though some of the poems in Finland had been written down by scholars during the 18th Century, most of the poems were sung in the oral traditions, and they were starting to disappear from the collective culture.
Kalevala has many interesting features to the Finnish language, and it was an important instrument in the construction of Finland's national identity that led to its independance from Russia more than 100 years ago.
About the rewards
In this project, you will be helping us fund the first edition of 'Tales from Kalevala || Olipa Kerran Kalevala'.
Also, remember most of the illustrations and texts are already prepared, so once we finish the crowdfunding it will be sent as fast as possible.
We deem we will be able to ship it within 2 or 3 months since the project is funded.
This is what you'll get:
- Soft cover book
- A5 size.
- 115 gr/m2 paper
- 120 pages, full colour
- Texts in English and Finnish.
- Signed by Fátima, if you want.
- Your full name featured as a backer of this project.
- Shipping costs included for Spain and Finland, other countries please ask!
Kalevala contains many tales and interesting stories, so it was very difficult to choose the ones that would go into the book. We had to leave some of them out!
We are offering the most famous ones in the basic version of the book and will be adding 3 more if we fund our stretch goals. Some other tales (like the songs about Ilmarinen’s wedding) are left out, either because they are redundant or do not add interesting information for an art book.
We tried to be the most loyal to the original Finnish version as possible, so some tales are not exactly the same in the English translations. Keep that in mind! Also, we couldn't include every single bit of information, so there are some details that are left out too.
The basic version of ‘Tales from Kalevala’ contains the following stories:
- The creation: This tale explains how the world was created according to Kalevala. It features Ilmatar, the primal maiden of the Ether, and Väinämöinen’s birth.
- Aino: After the world was created, Väinämöinen wants to marry a young maiden that fiercely refuses to become his wife.
- The Sampo: Illmarinen is tricked by Väinämöinen and sent to Pohjola to create a magic artifact that creates materials out of thin air, making its owner rich.
- Lemminkäinen’s fate: Lemminkäinen goes to the North to find a new wife and Louhi asks him to complete many tasks in return. He dies while performing one of them, and his mother comes to help him with her magic.
- Ilmarinen’s wedding: Väinämöinen and Illmarinen race to Pohjola to marry the Maiden of the North, but eventually she chooses Illmarinen and they marry.
- Lemminkäinen’s travels: Lemminkäinen was not invited to the wedding, but he goes anyway. He gets in trouble in Pohjola and is forced to run away and hide for years in an island.
- Kullervo: Young Kullervo was sold as a slave to Illmarinen. He kills Illmarinen’s wife, then runs away and finds his family, but he commits incest. Seeking death, he goes to war… In the meantime, Illmarinen crafts a bride of gold for himself.
- The first Kantele: Väinämöinen, Illmarinen and Lemminkäinen set to Pohjola to steal the Sampo, but their ship is blocked by a giant pike. Väinämöinen kills it and they eat its flesh. With its jaw, Väinämöinen creates the Kantele and spends many days singing with it.
- The War of the Sampo: The three heroes go to Pohjola to retrieve the Sampo, resulting in a great war that involves magic and strange creatures. Unfortunately, the Sampo is lost forever in the sea.
- The new Kantele: Väinämöinen creates a new Kantele.
- Restoration of the Sun and the Moon: Väinämöinen sings and the Sun and the Moon get down to listen to him… Louhi steals them, leaving the world in darkness. Illmarinen tries to create a new Sun and a new Moon with gold and silver, but they don’t shine…
- Marjatta: Young Marjatta was a fair maiden that got pregnant by eating a lingonberry. She is forced to leave her parent’s house and gives birth to a baby that is bound to be the new king of Kalevala.
These are the stretch goals we are considering for this project:
1.700 € REACHED - THE IRON
If we fund this amount, we’ll include the story of the Iron in the book. This means 12 more pages!
This tale tells how Iron was found and crafted by Ilmarinen (This one’s one of Fátima’s favourites!), and how it was transformed into many useful items, but it was also used to craft steel and weapons, causing a lot of grief.
1.950 € REACHED - THE FIRE
If we fund this amount, we’ll include the story of the Fire in the book. This means at least 8 more pages!
This story tells how Fire was created, and how it came to the land and devoured everything until Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen stopped him. This is a funny story because it depicts the fire as a hungry baby that is only looking for more and more things to eat.
2.150 € REACHED - THE NINE DISEASES
If we fund this amount, we’ll include the story of the Nine Diseases in the book. This means at least 8 more pages!
This story tells how Louhi and a maiden from the land of the Death bring nine terrible diseases to the land, and how Väinämöinen kicked them out from Finland. We like imagining the diseases as naughty children, so this is the way they will be designed.
2.250 € REACHED - A5 CARDS
If we fund this amount, we'll include several A5 prints in every box. We'll open a poll for you to decide!
Fátima Acaso (“Ackerson”) is a Spanish artist that once read Kalevala and fell in love with it. As soon as she started the book, she knew she had to draw it. And she did! So now, she has decided to turn it into a book, to share her love for Kalevala with everyone.
The first time Fátima read Kalevala was more than 10 years ago. She was intrigued by the lyrics of the songs by the Finnish metal band Amorphis, and when she researched on them, she came across the Kalevala poem. She read it in Spanish many times. Then she read it in English.
The idea of creating an art book featuring some of the stories came to her mind. But at the time, she was working full time as a financial consultant for a big company and had not the resources nor the time to even think of addressing such an important project, so she sent it to her bucket list… Some sort of a wish for the future.
After many years of working as a consultant in banking and social media, she finally had the opportunity to become what she always wanted to be: an artist! So she considered taking the Kalevala project back and started drawing.
Two years after, the project was becoming a reality and Fátima had no idea of how to continue with it. Life has strange coincidences sometimes. One day a friend introduced Fátima to Annika, a Finn who lives in Madrid and at the time worked as an intern in the Finnish Embassy.
Annika is a Finnish, Spanish and literature teacher, translator and interpreter. She is passionate about literature and culture and the influence they have in people’s lives. Above all, in this particular project, she was blown away by the potential of being able to introduce Kalevala, a maybe too little known Finnish literature treasure, in a fascinating and easy way to everyone - not to mention the amazing quality of Fátima’s artwork!
They became friends and talked about the project. Annika engaged immediately to it, and introduced Fátima to people at the Finnish Embassy in Madrid and Instituto Iberoamericano de Finlandia. These fantastic people gave their insights and help on the project.
With that awesome support, the project was eventually finished and now we can proudly offer it to you!
About the art in the book
Perhaps some of the character designs will not meet the standards of Finnish collective imagery, so ‘Tales from Kalevala’ will definitely surprise you.
‘Tales from Kalevala’ is a personal project, so the art in the book is all Fátima’s doing. She wanted to create a modern version of the art in Kalevala without being influenced by previous artists illustrating it.
She adapted her style a bit to meet the characteristics of some of the tales, but she wanted everything to be exactly the way she imagined when she read Kalevala for the first time.
Think of ‘Tales from Kalevala’ as a personal take on the poem. It is not academic and it is not made by an expert. It's just a personal vision of the artist!
What do we need the money for
The graphic below shows our expected budget and how we'll be managing it:
Our timings are expected to be really short.
Once the project is funded, it will take us couple weeks to make the necessary corrections and adjustments, like including the name of every backer in the book.
In case we manage to fund the stretch goals, we expect the new art to be made in about a month.
After this, we'll send the book to the printer, and once the book is freshly made and finally in our hands, we'll send it!
There are some steps that unfortunately are not under our control here. We'll try to get everything ready as soon as possible, though :)
You can follow us in our social media accounts:
- Our Instagram account
- Our Facebook account
- Our Twitter account
- You can have a peek on the designing process and art in this link
If you are interested, you can see Fátima's social media accounts here:
Some of the friends that are supporting us are: