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Kalevala, first published in 1835,with a larger edition being published in 1849. Kalevala is a Finnish national epos that comprised Finnish folk stories gathered together by Elios Lonnrot. It tells of the weaknesses and spiritual strength of ancient heroes, and has been translated into over thirty languages with many artists having received inspiration from it. Books four and five deal with the story of Aino, a young maiden who drowned herself and joined the muses rather than marry an obnoxious, old man. Here is an example of a watery female figure, or mermaid, that was thought in ancient Finland to be the spirit of a drowned woman.

Source: The Historical Mermaid

Kalevala: From Myth to Symbol
The Kalevala Heritage
The Kanteletar
Songs behind the Kalevala
Contents of the Kalevala
The Kalevala in Modern Art