Finnish mythology, the Sampo was a magical artifact constructed by Ilmarinenthat brought good fortune to its holder; nobody knows exactly what it was supposed to be. When the Sampo was stolen, it is said that Ilmarinen's homeland fell upon hard times and sent an expedition to retrieve it, but in the ensuing battle it was smashed and lost at sea.
The Sampo has been interpreted in many ways: a world pillar or
world tree, a compassor astrolabe, a chest containing a treasure, a Byzantine coin die, a decorated Vendel periodshield, a Christian relic, etc. In the " Kalevala", compiler Lönnrot interpreted it to be a quern or mill of some sort that made flour, salt, and goldout of thin air. The world pillar theory, originally developed by historian of religions Uno Harvaand linguistic Eemil Nestor Setäläin the early 20th century, is the most widely accepted one.
Description in the Kalevala
The Sampo was a pivotal element of the plot of the Finnish epic poem "
Kalevala", compiled in 1835(and expanded in 1849) by Elias Lönnrotbased on earlier Finnish oral tradition.
In the expanded second version of the poem, the Sampo is forged by
Ilmarinen, a legendary smith, as a task set by the Mistress of Pohjolain return for her daughter's hand.
: "Ilmarinen, worthy brother,": "Thou the only skilful blacksmith,": "Go and see her wondrous beauty,": "See her gold and silver garments,": "See her robed in finest raiment,": "See her sitting on the rainbow,": "Walking on the clouds of purple.": "Forge for her the magic Sampo,": "Forge the lid in many colors,": "Thy reward shall be the virgin,": "Thou shalt win this bride of beauty;": "Go and bring the lovely maiden": "To thy home in Kalevala." [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune10.htm Kalevala, Rune X] . Translated by John Martin Crawford (1888).]
Ilmarinen works for several days at a mighty forge until finally the Sampo is created:
: "On one side the flour is grinding,": "On another salt is making,": "On a third is money forging,": "And the lid is many-colored.": "Well the Sampo grinds when finished,": "To and fro the lid in rocking,": "Grinds one measure at the day-break,": "Grinds a measure fit for eating,": "Grinds a second for the market,": "Grinds a third one for the store-house."
Louhithe sorceress steals the Sampo, provoking Ilmarinen and Väinämöinento enter her stronghold in secret and retrieve it. Louhi, in reply, pursues them and combats Väinämöinen. In the struggle, Louhi is vanquished and the Sampo is destroyed.
Portrayal in film
In 1959 the joint Soviet-Finnish
filmproduction "Sampo" (titled "The Day the Earth Froze" when released in the United States) adapted the Kalevala to the big screen. Directed by Risto Orkoand Aleksandr Ptushko, and written by Väinö Kaukonenand Viktor Vitkovich, the movie somewhat alters the circumstances surrounding the Sampo's creation; Louhi kidnaps Ilmarinen's sister Annikki to compel him to build a Sampo for her. However, the movie remains reasonably true to the original tale in broad outline, and the Sampo's fate is the same.
Episode 422 of "
Mystery Science Theater 3000", produced in the 1992–93 season, featured "The Day the Earth Froze". Though the movie does explain what a Sampo is, the "MST3K" characters are talking during the explanation and miss it, and are therefore confused throughout the film as to what exactly a "Sampo" is. In Episode 506, " Eegah", they receive a letter from a fan which includes a photograph of a portable television set with the brand name "Sampo".
In the Warner Brothers cartoon "
What's Opera, Doc?", Elmer Fuddsings, "Yes, magic helmet. And I'll give you a Sampo," mispronouncing "sample" but smiling knowingly at the camera to reveal the inside joke.
The Sampo is also being forged in the 2006 movie "Jade Warrior". The movie is a Finnish-Chinese co-production and is loosely based on the kalavela and includes
Wuxiaelements as well.
Cornucopiaof Greek mythologyalso produces endless goods.
Some versions of the Grail myth emphasize how the Grail creates food and goods.
The fictional world of "
Star Trek" includes a "replicator", which creates complex materials from recorded information on their structures.
Sampo is also a Finnish
1933, A. A. Öpik named a new genus of orthide brachiopodfrom the Ordovicianperiod of earth history "Sampo" after the mythical artifact of the same name.cite web
last = Isaak
first = Mark
date = 27 April 2007
url = http://home.earthlink.net/~misaak/taxonomy/taxEtym.html
title = "Etymologies"
work = Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
publisher = Earthlink.net
accessdate = 2007-04-28]
There is a Finnish brand of diverse products which is called Sampo.
Sampo is also the name of a Christian
* [http://www.finlit.fi/kalevala/index.php?m=163&l=2 Finnish Literature Society's Kalevala site]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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