Kalma’s Manor of the Dead

Didst thou come from Kalma’s kingdom,
From the castles of the death-land?
Haste thou back to thine own country,
To the Kalma-halls and castles,
To the fields with envy swollen,
Where contending armies perish.
Kalevala

Kalman kartanot means literally the mansions or manors of Kalma (the corpse or the dead). Kalma’s  mansions are graveyards, underground chambers where the corpses of the dead continue almost a normal life. They are also called Kalma’s chambers, mansions of the lost.

Kalma’s mansion is depicted in the spells as a beautiful, good place. Diseases are banished there to enjoy the high homes, beautiful mansions, lovely residences.

If from Kalma’s chambers’ thou art come,
from the ‘huts of the spectral host’ (manalaiset),
from raspberry-covered heaps of stones,
from the border of a ‘holy field,’
just make endeavours to go home to ‘Kalma’s heath,’
to the mouldering heaps of soil,
to earth that often must be moved,
into which a people has fallen prone,
a mighty crowd has quietly sunk,
where families are enclosed,
a deadman’s heirs are hidden away.
It is good for thee to live,
pleasant for thee to pass the time
in a ‘house of fir,’ in a ‘pinewood nest’;
like a golden cuckoo thou wilt sing,
like a silver turtle-dove,
in thy lofty home, in thy lovely house.
Magic Songs of the Finns

Diseases are lured to the cemetery with delicacies like boneless meat, endless skull, veinless calf, elbow, dead bones, bone and meat to eat, blood to drink.

If thou hast bolted from a corpse [Kalma],
into a corpse just disappear,
go, Kalma, to a burial-ground,
to the edge of a holy field,
to the home of a man deceased,
to the house of a vanished one,
to the bed of one that has collapsed,
under the rug of one that swooned.
There it is pleasant for thee to be,
delightful ’tis for thee to live;
there thou hast bread of sifted flour,
fat delicacies ready made,
elbows enough are there
and much fat flesh for a hungry man to eat,
for one that longs for it to bite.
A dead man will not greatly weep,
one gone for ever will not cry,
if in thy lust thou make a gash,
take a bite in thy strong desire.

Magic Songs of the Finns

The idea is to send the disease to eat the dead rather than the living.

 

 

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