Fox The Cunning Forest Spirit
In Finnish folk tales fox is described to be cunning, smart and careful. These attributes fit into real life foxes as well. In ancient Finland foxes were hunted because of their precious fur. Foxes have highly developed sense of smell all and fox traps were kept extremely clean. People used to scrub them with pine cones to get rid of the human scent. Foxes were (and are) very smart animals and people had difficulties catching them. It was believed that the person who managed to catch foxes had strong shamanistic powers. According to folklore fox´s emuu (the creator spirit) in Finnish mythology is Käreitär goddess of the flame or goddess called Lukutar. Her name is derived from word lukka meaning sand bench which are common places for fox's dens.
Fox and the Northern Lights
In northern Finland and in Lapland there is legend told about Tulikettu the fire fox. Tulikettu was a magical giant fox who lived in the snowy hills in far north. It was every hunters dream to catch the fire fox for it was believed that the hunter who would catch it would be wealthy man for the rest of their life. Tulikettu was little bit like the Phoenix bird. There could only be one Tulikettu at a time. No one could never catch the fire fox who because it was as fast as the wind. There is a story told in northern Finland and Lapland about the birth of the northern lights. When fire fox runs fast in the snowy hills it´s fur touches the snow and creates magical sparkles to the skies. Still today Finnish word for northern lights is revontulet which literally means the fox´s fires. This story is based on reality because in dry freezing cold air fur becomes electric and can create tiny sparkles.
My video about foxes in Finnish myths )O(
I am a bit obsessed with foxes and I love painting them. I´v painted the fire fox on several occasions. Here is one of them. The painting is called "Birth of lights". You can find this painting turned into stickers, coffee mugs, prints and all other cool products on my Redbubble store.
Check out my course about Finnish mythology )O(
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
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