Jump to content
Grievous

Gloranthan Dance/Ritual

Recommended Posts

I was watching this video from the Finnish National Ballet and - though I usually wouldn't consider ballet to be very Gloranthan in feel - this one sort of struck a chord (it's a rehearsel of a ballet inspired by Kalevala, the Finnish national mythos, so has a more traditional feel). My mind's eye can see this in Glorantha.

The dance starts at around after 3:50 (-11:05), if you wanna skip the rest.

https://www.facebook.com/oopperabaletti/videos/10154893126881716/

Maybe someone will be similarly entertained/inspired!

 

Edited by Grievous
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice.  I particularly liked the song, though I don't speak a word of Finnish.  A group of Eiritha followers dancing a fertility rite, perhaps.  (I know, I have Prax on the brain...)

I was also particularly impressed by the dancers who I assume were Titania and Oberon in the Midsummer Night's Dream dance.  They stood absolutely stock-still through most of it, to the point where I thought they were props until dancers escorted them off the stage near the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I strongly recommend Elizabeth Wayland Barber's Book The Dancing Goddesses - it's a scholarly treatment of the archaeology of dance and prehistoric and bronze-age religion... http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Dancing-Goddesses/

It details the "Goose Dance" as a fertility rite in Eastern and Southern Europe... which may not be a coincidence, given Stafford's studies into these matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, davecake said:

The Kalevala is particularly pertinent to the Uncolings of northern Fronela. 

That's a common misconception because the Norwegians used to call the Sami "Finns". The Kalevala is the Finnish, or more specifically the Karelian epos. That means it deals with a culture of farmers and forest hunters who rarely got to see a reindeer, but plenty of moose and squirrels. (The Finnish term for money, raha, is derived from the value of a (red) squirrel fur when dealing with Hanseatic merchants, it being some sort of smallest denomination.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, in fact the Bear would be a far more important animal/venerated deity for the "run-of-the-mill" Finns in those days.

Of course, the Sami do live in what is Finland today as well, and at least nowadays reindeer flocks are a thing for any old Finns - Sami-heritage or not - that live in  the north (Lappland). But yeah, reindeer as such aren't a thing in mid or southerly Finland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joerg, you are being too literal. I didn't say 'the Uncolings correspond to the Kalevala Finns', I said it was pertinent. And so it is. 

The Kalevala is a shamanistic epic, and the shamanistic traditions of the Finns and Sami have a lot in common. Its true that as a national epic, the Kalevala can be understood as a story of where the Southern Finns/Karelians are the Kalevala heroes and the Sami correspond to Pohjola (if you ignore Lönnrot claiming that the people explicitly identified as Laplanders to the north must just be a different bunch of Finns), but the shamanic tradition detailed in the Kalevala is much more a shared one than that. 

And regardless of the terrestrial association with Finnish nationalism, in Glorantha the Kalevala stories seem to be linked to the Uncolings in particular - the most powerful shaman of the Uncolings is literally called Vanemuine, which is more or less the Estonian name for Väinämöinen (Though I guess if you wanted to be super-pedantic, you could take that as evidence only of the pertinence of the Kalevipoeg to the Uncolings). 

That said, if you wanted to make the case that in using the Kalevala as inspiration for Glorantha it would be more appropriate to consider the Rathori as corresponding to the Finnish and the Uncolings as corresponding to Lapplanders (more often antagonists, such as Juhakainen), that would make some sense. But you'd still want to mix it about and not take the division too literally — partly just as good creative practice to mix our inspiration up a bit and not have specific Gloranthan cultures correspond too closely to terrestrial ones, and partly because real world shamanism and myth does not divide itself along the neat lines that Gloranthan traditions often do E.g. Sami shamanism involved a lot of bear worship. I get a strong sense that the Uncolings are depicted drawing on the shamanic stories best known from the Kalevala, and the Rathori less so, but YMMV. 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/01/2018 at 12:20 PM, Joerg said:

more specifically the Karelian epos

For those of you interested, you might like to look at some of the mythology, animism, and gods of Karelia. It's a cultural region that overlaps Finland and Russia, with it's own history (that's a very simplified explanation):

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2018 at 11:00 PM, Yelm's Light said:

Nice.  I particularly liked the song, though I don't speak a word of Finnish.  A group of Eiritha followers dancing a fertility rite, perhaps.  (I know, I have Prax on the brain...)

The lyrics are from a poem from Kanteletar, the song by a Finnish folk band Värttinä (you can find that song "Raijan Joiku" on Spotify, at least) and I actually found a decent English translation:

You are very welcome here
my grand, my honoured guests
to join our joyful party
to celebrate the day

We rarely meet each other
or come together these days,
not in these fields of Väinölä
or the song lands of Kalevala

Sing, sing out, my dearest brother
Call, call out, my darling,
Take your time to celebrate,
Sing your joy for all to hear!

Take your lovely kantele,
play your golden song,
fit your fingers to the strings,
Let the tones, the songs ring free!

So that the whole village
and people everywhere would hear
the sweet sounds of Savonia,
The beautiful songs of Karelia.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11 January 2018 at 11:45 AM, Grievous said:

though I usually wouldn't consider ballet to be very Gloranthan in feel

 

Interesting the first formal ballet, that of the Ballet Comique de la Reine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballet_Comique_de_la_Reine (1581) was conceived for Catherine de Medicis as an act of ritual magic, invoking the sorceress Circe and her powers in an attempt to end the French Wars of Religion/Civil War. The occult/hermetic strain in Henri III and his mother's regime was also fertile ground for the then Paris-dwelling Giordano Bruno, among others attracted to the "Art of Memory" and systems of geometric movement, music, and mathematics...

Hence ballet is one of the real world things that could conceivably reflect a Lunar theistic/sorcerous ritual magic, akin to the dancing magic army of the Great Sister.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Hence ballet is one of the real world things that could conceivably reflect a Lunar theistic/sorcerous ritual magic,

And that's what was happening during the consecration of New Lunar Temple / Dragon meal. An intricate dance reflecting the dancers places as Celestial objects in the Perfect Sky to align the Stars for the Glowline to expand. Certainly ballet for me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

Joerg, you are being too literal. I didn't say 'the Uncolings correspond to the Kalevala Finns', I said it was pertinent. And so it is. 

The magic in the Kalevala is shamanic to some level, but it also has parts which aren't. The entire setting is about the Sampo, the equivalent of a Mostali Artefact gone astray.

 

One reason I took objection is that I crushed the numbers, and the huge number of Uncolings would require either extremely numerous herds to sustain the humans, or that the humans spend much of their time on four hooves to survive - more so during the Ban when their migrations were curtailed. It is possible that the post-Ban Uncolings are significantly different from the pre-Ban ones, when they still may have roamed all the way from Winterwood to Eol. This special situation is in no way relevant to the stories in the Kalevala.

 

On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

The Kalevala is a shamanistic epic, and the shamanistic traditions of the Finns and Sami have a lot in common.

As are parts of the Odin traditions (where they aren't yogic). Knowledge stored in vaguely alliterational verse isn't exclusive to the Finnish magic, the Merseburg spell formulas are one of the very few Germanic texts which escaped the book-burning of Charlemagne's son Ludwig the Pious (following up the killing of people with the knowledge under his father).

 

On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

Its true that as a national epic, the Kalevala can be understood as a story of where the Southern Finns/Karelians are the Kalevala heroes and the Sami correspond to Pohjola (if you ignore Lönnrot claiming that the people explicitly identified as Laplanders to the north must just be a different bunch of Finns), but the shamanic tradition detailed in the Kalevala is much more a shared one than that. 

I guess the Song of Iron is the best preserved tradition on both the killing with and the repairing of damage by the iron, though knowledge of the iron. It might apply directly to Glorantha and have a hand in its increased lethality against the Elder Races.

 

 

On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

And regardless of the terrestrial association with Finnish nationalism, in Glorantha the Kalevala stories seem to be linked to the Uncolings in particular - the most powerful shaman of the Uncolings is literally called Vanemuine, which is more or less the Estonian name for Väinämöinen (Though I guess if you wanted to be super-pedantic, you could take that as evidence only of the pertinence of the Kalevipoeg to the Uncolings). 

 

On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

That said, if you wanted to make the case that in using the Kalevala as inspiration for Glorantha it would be more appropriate to consider the Rathori as corresponding to the Finnish and the Uncolings as corresponding to Lapplanders (more often antagonists, such as Juhakainen), that would make some sense. 

Yes, the Rathori culture is borderline non-hsunchen with their semipermanent edifices, gardening etc., and the Jonatings south of the Dona may be an offshoot gone theist.

 

On 13.1.2018 at 4:12 AM, davecake said:

But you'd still want to mix it about and not take the division too literally — partly just as good creative practice to mix our inspiration up a bit and not have specific Gloranthan cultures correspond too closely to terrestrial ones, and partly because real world shamanism and myth does not divide itself along the neat lines that Gloranthan traditions often do E.g. Sami shamanism involved a lot of bear worship. I get a strong sense that the Uncolings are depicted drawing on the shamanic stories best known from the Kalevala, and the Rathori less so, but YMMV. 

Like I said above, the Uncoling census during the Ban doesn't leave enough grazing for the herds if a similar human-to-herd ratio is postulated like with the Pralori or the Praxians (Sables are about the same size, slightly heavier). This four-legged mostly lifestyle doesn't say zilch about their shamans, I agree, but it changes the people completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JanPospisil said:

Speaking of Kalevala, if anyone hasn't watched "Jade Warrior" (Jadesoturi) yet, I highly recommend it.   

Not an objectively great film, but very interesting.

The trailer you can find on Youtube is awful, so I recommend listening to a bit of the soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fVv1wdlNH4

What an awesome mash up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

The magic in the Kalevala is shamanic to some level, but it also has parts which aren't. The entire setting is about the Sampo, the equivalent of a Mostali Artefact gone astray.

Yes. Hey, did you notice the homelands of the Uncolings are very close to the homelands of the Third Eye Blue people? That seems a pretty obvious link to me. 

But  'plot revolves around' is not the same as 'entire setting is about'. The plot revolves around it because its unique and not easily replicated (like, say, something that was created with the assistance of a foreign culture). Whereas the protagonists like Väinämöinen, Lemminkainen, and some antagonists like Juhakainin

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

One reason I took objection is that I crushed the numbers, and the huge number of Uncolings would require either extremely numerous herds to sustain the humans, or that the humans spend much of their time on four hooves to survive - more so during the Ban when their migrations were curtailed. It is possible that the post-Ban Uncolings are significantly different from the pre-Ban ones, when they still may have roamed all the way from Winterwood to Eol. This special situation is in no way relevant to the stories in the Kalevala.

Joerg, once again too literal.  I said pertinent, not 'a literal description of', so if you are thinking  'hey, clearly the Kalevala isn't about people turning into reindeer so its irrelevant', I reject that reasoning along with 'the Orlanthi  fly and shoot lightning, so the Viking sagas are not a relevant source', and other variations. It doesn't follow. Any Gloranthan culture will draw on a combination of multiple sources from terrestrial folklore, plus some entirely different things that arise from living in a genuinely magical world, plus additional elements that are purely creative. That does not mean that those multiple sources are 'in no way relevant'. I'm genuinely baffled at this peculiar attitude.

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

As are parts of the Odin traditions (where they aren't yogic). Knowledge stored in vaguely alliterational verse isn't exclusive to the Finnish magic, the Merseburg spell formulas are one of the very few Germanic texts which escaped the book-burning of Charlemagne's son Ludwig the Pious (following up the killing of people with the knowledge under his father).

I am well aware that that alliterative verse isn't exclusive to the Kalevala and Finno-Ugric sources, and I could go on and on about pointy leather hats and the relevance of snakes in both depictions of Fronelan Hsunchen shaman and tradition Finnish magic, and so on. Or how connecting the only traditional reindeer herding shamanic tradition on earth to the only reindeer herding tradition on Glorantha isn't exactly a wild stretch. 

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

I guess the Song of Iron is the best preserved tradition on both the killing with and the repairing of damage by the iron, though knowledge of the iron. It might apply directly to Glorantha and have a hand in its increased lethality against the Elder Races.

Yep. And I definitely feel that linking Iron in to the Third Eye Blue people story and linking that into the myths of the people who live in their traditional homeland would make perfect sense. 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, the Rathori culture is borderline non-hsunchen with their semipermanent edifices, gardening etc., and the Jonatings south of the Dona may be an offshoot gone theist.

Like I said above, the Uncoling census during the Ban doesn't leave enough grazing for the herds if a similar human-to-herd ratio is postulated like with the Pralori or the Praxians (Sables are about the same size, slightly heavier). This four-legged mostly lifestyle doesn't say zilch about their shamans, I agree, but it changes the people completely.

Then the ratio is wrong, or something unknown and magical happened during the Ban. Maybe they just all, or almost all, turned into reindeer for the duration of the ban, and returned to more conventional hsunchen life thereafter? 

But if your basic position is that you have a private theory based on that single detail, which isn't mentioned anywhere in the Guide or elsewhere, and for that reason think we should throw away everything else ever written about them — then you probably should have opened with that at the start, so I could have just shouted YGWV, and continued to think you'd gone off at rather an odd tangent there.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, davecake said:

Yes. Hey, did you notice the homelands of the Uncolings are very close to the homelands of the Third Eye Blue people? That seems a pretty obvious link to me. 

But  'plot revolves around' is not the same as 'entire setting is about'. The plot revolves around it because its unique and not easily replicated (like, say, something that was created with the assistance of a foreign culture). Whereas the protagonists like Väinämöinen, Lemminkainen, and some antagonists like Juhakainin

Väinamöinen is the sankari hero, the spell-singer. (It may be such me, but "sankari" and "singer" look a lot similar, despite the fact that Finnish is not an Indo-European language. But Finnish has been in contact with Indogermanic languages for quite a while, and is in fact a valuable repository for ancient, unchanged forms of Indogermanic when the two language groups went out of contact for a while, leaving the loan word as part of the language.)

He is the Merlin/Chiron/Odin the grey wanderer, the Mary Sue magician-fighter that no RPG (not even RQ) has ever been able to replicate satisfactorily as a player character.

 

Quote

Joerg, once again too literal.  I said pertinent, not 'a literal description of', so if you are thinking  'hey, clearly the Kalevala isn't about people turning into reindeer so its irrelevant', I reject that reasoning along with 'the Orlanthi  fly and shoot lightning, so the Viking sagas are not a relevant source', and other variations. It doesn't follow.

You don't get my meaning: the post-Ban Uncolings have a human culture mainly when they meet at Porent. Those few weeks in the year they have more than a few man-shaped minders around their herds, much of the rest of their time they spend ruminating on lichen and similar meagre fare. Like I said, the Ban may have forced them to adopt that lifestyle, but they get to be human mainly for their festivals. I am far from convinced that "hunter" still is a major occupation among them. The time on the hoof may be some kind of meditative experience for the tribe, from which they only awake at the meetplaces.

The Pralori of Fronela have way more in common with the Sami (or Nenets, or any other northern Asian reindeer hunter/herder culture) than the Uncolings.

Although, to be fair to the Sami, the reindeer herders are simply the portion of the Sami which was the hardest to assimilate into Norse culture. The coastal, fisherman Sami/"Finns" of Halogaland (northern Norway) were already halfway assimilated into Viking society at the end of the Viking Age. Enforced Christianisation and a penalty on using their native language for naming and other purposes completed their ethnic cleansing. By the time the nomadic reindeer herders fell under the evils of Christianisation, their coastal cousins had become undistinguishable from their Norse neighbors.

I would agree that the coastal Sami (possibly including those on the Bottnic Sea) could be identified with Louhi's folk in Kalevala. But they, like the Karelians and e.g. the Savolaiset, had almost nothing to do with reindeer.

 

Having lived n Drag i Tysfjord in the Sameland area and digging into the region's local history may have left me with a widely different impression of Viking era Sami, where the coastal Sami had permanent reindeer traps (or funnels) for the seasonal herd migrations but subsided on fishery and local hunting and growing for the rest of the year. The nomads who followed the wild herds year round still spoke a closely related language and likely shared much of their religion and magical practices, but they were almost another culture. Compare Enerali and Galanini in Ralios, or Enjoreli and Hsunchen Tawari in Fronela.

The Uncolings may be closest to the Tanuku Fiwan in lifestyle. Migrations and survival on the hoof, but turning into human shapes for magic. Huge human populations appearing and disappearing, with only a small percentage of guardians keeping human shape in the times between. Probably including most if not all of their shaman and shaman trainee population, so I will grant you that the Uncoling shamans might be living a life-style that resembles the nomadic Sami or their Siberian cognate cultures (many of them speaking language from the transuralic branch of the Fenno-Ugric languages).

 

 

So, sorry if I have very defined ideas about Sami - I published a German language non-Gloranthan RQ scenario around this in Free INT #7 (the Vikings special)

, making use of my previous research. Corraling up wild reindeer for sustainable herd culling was an activity shared by coastal Sami and Vikings - check the Ottar entry in Alfred of Wessex' Anglosaxon Orosius for a mention of his wealth in stags.

As for the Uncolings, they might as well be charaterized as members of the Ahrensburg mesolithic culture, near the area where I grew up and still (or again) live.

 

Quote

Any Gloranthan culture will draw on a combination of multiple sources from terrestrial folklore, plus some entirely different things that arise from living in a genuinely magical world, plus additional elements that are purely creative. That does not mean that those multiple sources are 'in no way relevant'.

Yeah. Only that you are doing the Klatchian imitation of Djelibebian culture, which is the equivalent of this footnote in Pratchett's Pyramids (p.111 in my Corgi paperback edition):

Quote

Some translation is needed here. If a foreign ambassador to the Court of St James wore (out of a genuine desire to flatter) a bowler hat, a claymore, a Civil War breastplate, Saxon trousers and a Jacobean haircut, he'd create pretty much the same impression.

 

Quote

I'm genuinely baffled at this peculiar attitude.

Basically, I have lived in the region, have researched the coastal "Finn" population rather intensely, have listened to stories about Halogaland Viking kings and their relationship to the coastal and inland Sami. After Norway, Finland is the land outside of Germany where I spent the second longest time, and I started to learn their language up to early immigrant proficiency while studying their history with application to my roleplaying activities in mind. While I own a Finnish language edition of Kalevala, my main exposure comes from a German language verse-form transcription which I read in its entirety, with the sing-song of the Finnish language in my mind.

Fronelan Hsunchen or not-quite-any-more Hsunchen are great for using this, like Rathori or Winterwood Pralori, possibly also the Enjoreli/Tawari. Almost all, except for the Uncolings. Those only fit the cliches, similar to the Sauerkraut and Wurst-devouring Bierfest-celebrating "Germans" in Lederhosen or Dirndl.

Or, to sum up the Down Under cliches as far as I was made aware of, no worries, mate, keep your corks on your broad-rimmed hat jingling while living on Vegemite and Fosters or XXXX while riding your roos herding your sheep, saving them from crocs. (Or whichever cheap blackface cultural atrocity you might impose on any culture...) It's not up to our standards.

 

Quote

I am well aware that that alliterative verse isn't exclusive to the Kalevala and Finno-Ugric sources, and I could go on and on about pointy leather hats and the relevance of snakes in both depictions of Fronelan Hsunchen shaman and tradition Finnish magic, and so on. Or how connecting the only traditional reindeer herding shamanic tradition on earth to the only reindeer herding tradition on Glorantha isn't exactly a wild stretch. 

Hold your horses - "the only traditional reindeer herding shamanic tradition on earth"? Northern Siberia is full of semi-hunter semi-herder reindeer folk (or rather, if you meet one of the sparse natives there, he or she is likely from such a culture). The Nenets (aka Samoyeds) are much closer to the Uncoling circumstances of life than the Sami. And while the native Caribou hunters of Canada aren't herders, their lives would be fairly familiar to a member of the Ahrensburg mesolithic hunters.

 

Quote

Yep. And I definitely feel that linking Iron in to the Third Eye Blue people story and linking that into the myths of the people who live in their traditional homeland would make perfect sense. 

The TEB make for a good Louhi.

Quote

Then the ratio is wrong, or something unknown and magical happened during the Ban.

That's my explanation, too.

Quote

Maybe they just all, or almost all, turned into reindeer for the duration of the ban, and returned to more conventional hsunchen life thereafter? 

In the last few years? Checking the map on p.201 in the Guide, the Ban on Tastolar lifted as recently as 1620. (The Porent meeting of 1617 with 50,000 individuals hence must have happened before the Thaw reached Tastolar.) Even with the "now" of Glorantha moved from 1621 to 1627, the Uncolings have just re-emerged from the Ban, and feel the pressure of the Kingdom of War in the same way other buffer states of Loskalm do.

 

Quote

But if your basic position is that you have a private theory based on that single detail, which isn't mentioned anywhere in the Guide or elsewhere, and for that reason think we should throw away everything else ever written about them — then you probably should have opened with that at the start, so I could have just shouted YGWV, and continued to think you'd gone off at rather an odd tangent there.  

If you make the Uncolings contemporary Sami all the way, with their colorful felt clothes and duodje and whatnot, then all my sensibilities are triggered. Tastolar is a subarctic open taiga, with the necessary tundra providing its slow-living but nourishing lichen only in a different portion of the Ban, leaving the migratory reindeer herds at a severe disadvantage through the Ban - their fattening summer feeding grounds have gone. The effect is worse than SIr Winston Churchill's straight lines delineating various Hashemite kingdoms without any concern for the bedouins who utilized the sparse grazing on either side of those arbitrary lines.

Fronela is a lot more fertile than Sacred Prax or the Wastes, but the herds are adapted to migrating between different regions, and the Ban trapped them on either side, leaving them with at best half of the resources that their hard life in subarctic conditions demanded - it is not like the Valind storms were blocked by the Ban. And at the same time, the Ban ruined their fishing for good, preventing salmon or sea trout migration - which the Rathori survived only because of their magical hibernation, and the early awakeners of 1594 clearly suffered from lack of this resource, little wonder that they became as aggressive as under Black Hralf in half a heartbeat. For the Uncolings emerging in such strength, they must have done something unreported but along similar lines. Reindeer do the opposite of hibernation, they remain active through ice and snow, subsiding on what little they can ruminate on.

Like I said earlier, the coast dwellers of Norway built reusable reindeer traps to corral the wild herds that would arrive seasonally, culled them to their benefit, then let them go again minus a few beasts for domestication and others for the food locker. Those reindeers that were kept back as domesticated beasts became the sorry specimen that are exhibited at the tourist trap duodje tents along the highways rather than the proud huge-antlered beasts that roam freely. I knew a salt lick on a fjord where such specimen could be observed with some regularity.

 

Edited by Joerg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2018 at 8:45 PM, Grievous said:

I was watching this video from the Finnish National Ballet and - though I usually wouldn't consider ballet to be very Gloranthan in feel - this one sort of struck a chord (it's a rehearsel of a ballet inspired by Kalevala, the Finnish national mythos, so has a more traditional feel). My mind's eye can see this in Glorantha.

The dance starts at around after 3:50 (-11:05), if you wanna skip the rest.

https://www.facebook.com/oopperabaletti/videos/10154893126881716/

Maybe someone will be similarly entertained/inspired!

 

You might be surprised, but ballet is quite Gloranthan, particularly in Dara Happen rituals. I believe this is some outtakes of the preparation for the Dance of the Heavens performed during the catastrophic consecration of the New Lunar Temple in Dragon Pass: 

 

Below was a dance I saw performed at Clearwine Fort as part of an Earth Season religious festival of Orlanth and Ernalda:

Whereas I saw this dance during a Storm Season celebration of Orlanth:

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Väinamöinen is the sankari hero, the spell-singer.

Yes Indeed. And I think its pretty clear that we are talking animism in Gloranthan magical terms as well as conventional anthropological ones. 

Now, I still don't think you are addressing the idea that your argument here might not be with me, but the Guide. You haven't mentioned at all that naming the greatest shaman of the Uncolings Vainemune *might not be a concidence*, for example, and there are a lot of smaller details along those lines. We also known Lalja Vainemune, literally the only Uncoling individual we have any specific information on, has a magical voice, and difficulty finding a wife. Do magical singing and having difficulty finding a wife sound like themes that might come up in the Kalevala perhaps? 

Also, lets jump back a few months - who, during the Guide to Glorantha Group read, said, in regard to the Uncoling shamans description in the Guide-

"This appears to be a nod to the magical prowess ascribed to the magicians of the Finns (the Norse word for the Sami) in the Nordic Sagas (and in the Kalevala). "

(I won't keep you in suspect - it was YOU). 

In general when I say 'this is a pertinent reference' here, what I'm saying is that I think the poetic descriptions of the acts of the great shaman-heroes of this arctic culture are relevant when coming up with inspiration for inspiration for this other group of sub-arctic people with shaman-heroes, and enough rather obvious hints are there to make it clear. What you seem to think I am saying, and are arguing vehemently against, is that I am implying that the Sami (of some era) are ethnographically identical to people who can turn into magical reindeer. I am not saying that, and I think your efforts to deride me for claiming that just confuse the issue. 

I'm saying more or less the same thing you said yourself in September. 

And you seem very hung up on the ethnic divisions between Finns, Sami, Karelia etc because you seem to be arguing from the idea of ethnographic equivalence, but I'm really not because I'm mostly just saying it is a really good source for ideas about heroic, poetic shamanism in an arctic/sub-arctic environment, and as such:

  • I know we are going to move ideas around between cultures, because thats how we do it in Glorantha, and because Glorantha has a lot of very specific (and often odd) points about zoology to incorporate (among other things)
  • if we are only talking specifically about shamanism, there is significant overlap between Finnish and Sami shamanic tradition (a lot of which is documented in the Kalevala). 
  • and I'm really not that hung up on the details because 19th century reconstructions of notional texts driven by nationalism and its subsequent re-assessment, give us a quite a complex debate that I really don't care about.

[detailed description about lifestyles of Viking era Sami deleted] 

and that is all very interesting, and has very little to do with the reasons why I said the Kalevala is a useful source for the Uncolings, Do they have great shaman-heroes? Do those shaman stories talk about the snow, and bears, and fish? Then they can be useful inspiration for stories about the Uncolings, and other people of Northen Fronela t

The Uncolings may have some similarities in how they herd to the Tanuku Fiwan, yes, But the Kalevala contains cool stories about fishing for magic salmon in arctic streams and such. I'm pretty sure those are cool stories that not only can I easily use for inspiration about cool Uncoling (or Rathori) stories, I'm also pretty sure that all those stories of fishing and swamps and stuff really aren't very relevant to the grasslands of Jolar and Tarien. Its as if you have not just got focussed on a whole bunch of lifestyle and economic detail to the exclusion of the myth and poetry and you are terribly upset that I won't do it too. 

 

Quote

Yeah. Only that you are doing the Klatchian imitation of Djelibebian culture, which is the equivalent of this footnote in Pratchett's Pyramids (p.111 in my Corgi paperback edition):

I presume this is intended to be a slur of some kind, but luckily I don't speak Pratchett. 

 

Quote

Basically, I have lived in the region, have researched the coastal "Finn" population rather intensely, have listened to stories about Halogaland Viking kings and their relationship to the coastal and inland Sami. After Norway, Finland is the land outside of Germany where I spent the second longest time, and I started to learn their language up to early immigrant proficiency while studying their history with application to my roleplaying activities in mind. While I own a Finnish language edition of Kalevala, my main exposure comes from a German language verse-form transcription which I read in its entirety, with the sing-song of the Finnish language in my mind.

And I can claim only an English translation, a few visits to Finnland, and a few reference books (particularly Kalevala Mythology by Juha Pentikäinen, which is probably terribly outdated - its not easy to get books in English). I don't think it matters - we are talking at cross purposes conceptually, not arguing over facts. 

Quote

Fronelan Hsunchen or not-quite-any-more Hsunchen are great for using this, like Rathori or Winterwood Pralori, possibly also the Enjoreli/Tawari. Almost all, except for the Uncolings. Those only fit the cliches, similar to the Sauerkraut and Wurst-devouring Bierfest-celebrating "Germans" in Lederhosen or Dirndl.

Except the close identification of clichés based on cultures is your projection, not what I saying at all. The Pralori aren't arctic. The rest, yes, those too. Mix and match stories of Northern European arctic shaman-heroes for the hsunchen and not-quite-hsunchen for inspiration, But the Kalevala is the best known source, multiple points of identification with the Uncoling are noted in the Guide, 

Quote

If you make the Uncolings contemporary Sami all the way, with their colorful felt clothes and duodje and whatnot, then all my sensibilities are triggered.

And how did you get from 'the Kalevala is a pertinent source for the Uncolings' to 'the Uncolings are contemporary Sami'? Seriously, I have no idea, and I'm fairly sure you are getting triggered by something only you ever considered as a possibility.

 

Quote

 

The TEB make for a good Louhi.

That's my explanation, too.

 

So we agree on some things. Great. 

 

Edited by davecake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically there is one Kalevala character reflected in one Uncoling shaman in name and attribute. There are oodles of difference, though. Väinämöinen building his kantele out of a pike's jaw sounds right out of Varanorlanth's bag of tricks, and there are more such traits that make the wild Odin parallel of Orlanth a better match than a shaman.

 

Kalevalan Väinämöinen probably is one of those super-magicians, not limited to a single area of expertise. And he is a swordsman as much as a magician, nicely depicted in Gallen-Kallela's confrontation with eagle-form Louhi.

 

There is shape-changing in the Kalevala, mostly attributed to Louhi.

I don't see an Ilmarinen/Daedalos/Wayland character among the Fronelan Hsunchen, though. The pair of Dronari near Sog City probably come the closest in all of Fronela if you avoid Nida.

Kullervo on the other hand might be Harrek or Janan Vartool, or any other headstrong young warrior with too much prowess and too little shrewdness.

 

The Kalevalan song of iron would qualify as Gloranthan sorcery, btw - it is what you know, not what you are or what you have.

 

The consequences of the Ban for the wildlife of Fronela in addition to the human cultures of Fronela have been under-explored. Migratory species abound in Fronela. Reindeer, salmon, birds like the swallow (which feeds on Gorakiki's bounty, also known as Gorakiki's curse in the subarctic regions), and at a guess even butterflies in southern Loskalm.

 

 

I seem to recall Pralori outside of Pralorela from the info in Genertela Box, also north of the Nidan mountains, but there aren't any in the Guide. There ought to be elk, and Vargantyr sports elk antlers rather than reindeer ones.

Speaking of the Pralori and getting back to the subject line of this thread, they claim to be the only keepers of the Serpent Dances which made up the Dawn Age shamanic meta-tradition of the Great Western Forest. At a guess, this was accompanied by rather monotonous singsong and  drumming, possibly done by the dancers, rather than by stringed melody instruments (like the kantele) or reeds/flutes.

 

.There are things in the Guide that require looking more closely, especially with the map of the Thaw which cannot be right, but that will be better served in a separate topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2018 at 7:21 PM, Grievous said:

The lyrics are from a poem from Kanteletar, the song by a Finnish folk band Värttinä (you can find that song "Raijan Joiku" on Spotify, at least) and I actually found a decent English translation:

You are very welcome here
my grand, my honoured guests
to join our joyful party
to celebrate the day

We rarely meet each other
or come together these days,
not in these fields of Väinölä
or the song lands of Kalevala

Sing, sing out, my dearest brother
Call, call out, my darling,
Take your time to celebrate,
Sing your joy for all to hear!

Take your lovely kantele,
play your golden song,
fit your fingers to the strings,
Let the tones, the songs ring free!

So that the whole village
and people everywhere would hear
the sweet sounds of Savonia,
The beautiful songs of Karelia.

Which is as good as, if not better than, the Gloranthan poetry we know and love. "Foul Slime ...", "Wandering Son, Jealous Uncle ...", "Flee, flee" and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2018 at 7:45 PM, Grievous said:

though I usually wouldn't consider ballet to be very Gloranthan in feel

The Contest of Dance between Yelm and Orlanth had Yelm performing an Imperial Court Ballet and defeating Orlanth's War Dance, so Ballet has a long history in Glorantha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it is lovely to see non Finns debating our folklore. Not being a scholar and having read the book long long time ago - Kalevala can be a narrow lens to the folklore that it reflects. Some sources say that for example the more down to earth (racy) bits were not accepted (and so not written down in) for Kalevala by the main gatherer. The time it was gathered we were occupied and that might reflect also a bit. If I recall it was written so it conformed to the gathererer's vision how it should be - edited, collated etc. So I would perhaps consider it a fiction book instead of 'fully' reflecting on the traditions and folklore of the Finn and Sami people etc. It contains good stories... Who would not be moved by Joukahainen's mother or the story of Kullervo, hero questing and tragic flawed hero story. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 16/01/2018 at 7:50 PM, Joerg said:

I don't see an Ilmarinen/Daedalos/Wayland character among the Fronelan Hsunchen, though.

I thought we'd discussed, and concluded, that the homeland of the Third Eye Blue people being conveniently smack in the middle of the Fronelan Hsunchen homelands was an appropriate way to integrate those stories.  I think that is a far better way to do it than via the Dronari near Sog City, who are very much weird outsiders to the Hsunchen - remind me more of eg dwarves in Viking stories. 

It's a tiny detail, but I recall that Piku in Apple Land (the only 3EB character in canon) knows a charm to sing iron into the shape of animal heads. Fits very nicely.

On 16/01/2018 at 7:50 PM, Joerg said:

I seem to recall Pralori outside of Pralorela from the info in Genertela Box, also north of the Nidan mountains, but there aren't any in the Guide. There ought to be elk, and Vargantyr sports elk antlers rather than reindeer ones.

You might be getting a bit confused with the Damali? I'm not implying you can't tell the deer apart from elk, just that the entry for the Kralorelan Damali mentions the Pralori several times, and the two peoples seem often associated. The Guide also shows Pralori around modern Pithdaros at the Dawn, which also might be what you are thinking of? 

And just because there isn't a sustainable Hsunchen population doesn't mean the animals are absent, or the spirits can not be magically contacted. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×