There may be some debate as to who got where first, but the British Isles from London in old Danelaw to Scotland have long shared cultural links with and influence from Nordic culture, through raids, colonisation, and trade between the two regions. The lasting legacy of our Nordic cousins lies in our shared language and culture.
This page discusses a variety of lore, creation myths, and songs from both the Nordic region and the U.K. in order to explore the spiritual side in Northern Shamanic Tradition, the musical side through songs and instruments used by the Nordic communities, and through language in how U.K. culture – particularly Danelaw territories in the North of England and the islands surrounding Britain- remain shaped by Nordic Culture.
The Prose Edda is the primer for mythology around the Norse Gods, collected and composed by the poetic politician Snorri Sturlson in the 1200s; and the Kalevala is the creation epic of Finland, composed from written and oral histories and tales of Finland and Karelia by Elias Lönnrot in the 1800s.
Northern and Eastern parts of Karelia were conquered by Sweden in antiquity, leaving a great deal of Finland speaking Swedish by the 1700s, so the work of Lönnrot was pivotal in collecting the oral histories of his native Finland and the culture they shared with Karelia and set about a renaissance in Finnish language and cultural identity.
Unfortunately, when Russia raised a border in the 1920s and Finland ceded parts of Karelia to the Soviet Union in the 1940s, families were divided; causing great rifts between cultures and, it is believed, led to the eradication of runolaulu (rune singing); which was in many ways central to the passing down of oral histories and historical accounts through songs and myth of the Finnish and Karelian culture.
“For thousands of years, the epic tales of Finland’s folklore passed between generations through oral tradition. Songs echoed while felling trees and weaving nets, reverberating through fields of wheat and fields of war. Before written letters, local shamans and wise men were spiritual icons, as well as guardians of language. “The songs were everywhere,” Jussi says. “When cooking, when feeding the animals, when making the fishing net, when harvesting the hay. The music was everywhere.”
Whilst other lore are discussed, these two texts form an excellent starting point for understanding the religion and culture of the Nordic region, with great reference to poetry, prose, and song therein.