European Demons

Hiisi

 

Stream in the Woods – Camille Corot

Hiisi (pl. hiiet) is the Finnish word for demon mentioned in the Kalevala. They are personifications of evil associated with woods, streams, and hills. There is a chief Hiisi who is aided by a number of lesser demonscalled hiiet within the Kalevala.

 

Poems 13-14 tells of Lemminkaeinen’s attempt at pursuing Hiisi’s elk. The elk escapes capture and curses Lemminkaeinen. Lemminkaeinen finally is able to capture the elk after a struggle and drive him to the North Farm.

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