River of the Dead

The Daughter of Tuoni is the gatekeeper of Tuonela, the Underworld or the distant Land of the Dead.

On her boat, she brings dead people across the Tuonela river to the island of Tuonela.

If a living person tries to enter Tuonela, they will be interviewed by her. She is not easily fooled. Living wizards attempting to reach Tuonela may have to take the form of a snake to swim to Tuonela.

When appear Tuoni’s islands,
And the Manala fields and castles.
Wainamoinen, brave and ancient,
Calls aloud in tones of thunder,
To the Tuonela deeps and dungeons,
And to Manala’s magic castle:
“Bring a boat, Tuoni’s daughter,
Bring a ferry-boat, O maiden,
That may bear me o’er this channel,
O’er this black and fatal river.”
Kalevala

 

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