Finno-Ugric Religions: An Overview

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The Finno-Ugric peoples constitute a family of scattered nations and populations in northern Eurasia in an area that reaches from northernmost Scandinavia and Finland to western Siberia and from the Volga-Kama Basin to Hungary. They speak approximately thirty cognate languages, which, with four Samoyed languages, form the Uralic family of languages. It is mainly the linguistic affinity that links these peoples and cultures; the cultural and religious affinities between them are more difficult to ascertain, spanning as they do considerable geographical distance from each other and over 5,000 years of only partly shared history through which each of them had contacts with different peoples. An "original" Finno-Ugric religion postulated by various scholars thus remains hypothetical, but the religious beliefs and practices of the Finno-Ugric peoples have provided an interesting case for comparative methodology in the history of religions, or rather regional phenomenology of religion masterly covered by experts on Finno-Ugric religions.

Genealogy of Languages, Peoples, and Cultures

Theories of linguistic descent are usually based on the concept of a protolanguage and its subsequent differentiation. The real development, however, probably consisted of complex processes of multiple integration into and differentiation from cognate languages, with the interpenetration of noncognate languages in a given region also playing a role. According to the generally accepted chronology, the Uralic protofamily of languages began to split up into Finno-Ugric and Samoyed protolanguages around 4000 bce. In the twenty-first century the Samoyed languages are spoken by some thirty-five thousand people living on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and along the banks of rivers flowing into it between the Taymyr and Kanin Peninsulas. The early Uralic and Finno-Ugric settlements were presumably located in the south, somewhere between the Ural Mountains and the middle reaches of the Volga River. After the differentiation of the Ugric branch around 3000 bce, and its subsequent division into the Ob-Ugric (Khanty and Mansi in the north) and into a more southerly ethnos that later became the Hungarian branch, the rest of the Finno-Ugrians either stayed near the Volga and developed into the Mari (Cheremis) and Mordvin peoples of today or moved to the north or the northwest. The northern group, the Permian settlement, persisted over two millennia and became divided only a little over one thousand years ago into the Komi (Zyrians), living in the region between the upper reaches of the western Dvina, the Kama, and the Pechora Rivers; and the Udmurts (Votiaks), living between the Kama and Vyatka Rivers. The northwestern group reached the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, became intermingled with the former inhabitants in contemporarary Finland and Scandinavia, and linguistically developed into what we now know as Sami (Lapps), Finns, Karelians, Ingrians, Votes, Veps, Estonians, and Livonians. The development was far from unilinear and regular, as is shown by contemporary linguistic groups within the Ugric branch range from fourteen million Hungarians to small populations of Mansi (Voguls) and Khanty (Ostiaks) in the northern Ural Mountains and along the Ob River. Similarly, among five million Finns and one million Estonians traces of almost extinct Votes and Livonians have been found. The most recent censuses and maps on the numbers and distribution of the Finno-Ugric peoples indicate radical changes that have taken place in the former Soviet Union and Russia, where most Finno-Ugric people are at least bilingual, as well as among the five almost extinct Sami languages out of nine to ten altogether.

Finno-Ugrians once inhabited most of northeast Europe. It was relatively late that the Slavic expansion changed the picture from the medieval era, and in Siberia from the sixteenth century onward. Another impact was made by the Turco-Tatar tribes and by the Bulgar empire in the Middle Ages, which particularly affected the culture of the southeastern Mari and Udmurts. Western influence was strongest in the Baltic sphere, where early loanwords were adopted from the Baltic- and Germanic-speaking people from the third to the first millennium bce. Some remote groups of Finno-Ugrians were able to preserve their autochthonous religious traditions fairly late, even until the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, because the discipline of Eastern Christianity was rather ineffective or permissive and more tolerant toward folk belief than in western Finland, for instance, where Western Christianity, such as Roman Catholicism from the medieval era onward and, later, Lutheranism, abolished sacred groves (Finnish hiisi ) and several other archaic expressions of religious phenomena that had survived in the Russian Orthodox east (eastern Finland, Karelia, and Ingria) the southeastern Finno-Ugrians the traditions of their Islamic neighbors left marks on the folk religion.

Since the history of Christian missions and crusades is fairly longthe first signs and words from Eastern Christianity in Finland are from around 800 ce and Catholic crusades began in the twelfth century among the western Finns and in the fourteenth century among the Komi, for exampleand trade relations with Christianized cultures existed much earlier, it must be assumed that the survival of early folk belief, myth, and ritual among the Finno-Ugrians is partly an example of the coexistence of great and little traditions; that is, Eastern and Western Christianity or Islam versus ethnic religions. The same people who were devout Christians could also perform ancient rites and hold beliefs that did not necessarily contradict Christian doctrine because they were so skillfully adapted and integrated into each other. Indigenous religion began to adopt Christian elements before formal missionizing took place, and long after it had established its position as the official religion, the Christian religion found itself in a symbiosis with pagan belief and custom, at least at the level of folk religiosity.

Methods of Comparison

The development of and variation in the religions of the Finno-Ugrians must be seen as an interplay of phenomenological, ecological, and historical aspects. At the phenomenological level the question asked by Lauri Honko, for example, is: Are there any typically Finno-Ugric contributions to the phenomenology of religious universals? The answer is: The wide natural-geographical and cultural-historical scale, ranging from mobile hunting and fishing communities in the Arctic north to stable farming and cattle-breeding societies in the south and from remote pockets of religious tradition to the crossroads of Byzantine and Roman influence, permits one to examine the relative importance of linguistic continuity in cultural variation. To reconstruct a true proto-Finno-Ugric religion may be impossible, as the religious systems have changed so many times, but some structural or systematic elements may be discerned, irrespective of whether they belong to a vertical tradition. There are similarities in cosmological belief, in the system of spirits, and in ancestor worship that may not occur as frequently among non-Finno-Ugrians. From the phenomenological point of view, however, dissimilarities may turn out to be as important as similarities, and in the area of language we must remember the existence of the superstrate and substrate area of traditions; that is, the language of a population may change while the traditional content is retained. Under Slavic linguistic form we may find substrata of Finno-Ugric tradition, especially in the north of Russia.

Ecological comparisons may help to explain similarities that are not based on historical contact and interaction between cultures. Ecological comparison often turns out to be regional: Similar trends become discernible among all or most cultures in a given zone, regardless of linguistic affinities. There are different "ecologies" to be observed: those that are based on the natural environment, those that are dependent on the sociocultural development or stage of development in the societies to be compared, and those that refer to the morphology of the religious tradition itself. Finno-Ugric material provides interesting points of departure for attempts to understand the extent to which physical environment, the stage of societal development, and the morphology of the tradition may interact with each other or with linguistic or regional factors.

The third and most common level of comparison has been the historical one. Most recent findings on rock art, pictographs, and petroglyphs in Russia, Karelia, the Kola Peninsula, and Finland have revealed new materials found from the territories occupied by the Finno-Ugric populations or their genetic or maybe even linguistic ancestors. This means that early historical sources and archaeological findings in the field of Finno-Ugric religion are more abundant and illuminating than suggested by Honko in the first edition of this entry. Although the testimonial value of these sources may be rather scanty and problematic, they should be carefully studied in the long chain starting from the archaeology of the petrified language on rock, painted by red clay or carved with hammer by a Neoloithic man, regardless of the language he spoke. Comparison may be made of the shamanic paraphernalia (e.g., sejd and other anthro- and zoomorphic stones, drums, dress, and so on) found in the shamans' graves, such as in Karelia (Elk Island on Lake Onega) and northern Finland (Kuusamo).

Tradition-historical analysis shows how the historical assumptions may be based on the evidence of relatively late documents of oral tradition. The assumption usually is unidirectional: One people has borrowed beliefs or rituals from another. Interaction in cultural contact or dissimilar functions of similar traits (or similar functions of dissimilar traits) in different tradition systems are rarely discussed. In spite of this, interesting evidence of early historically connected strata in Finno-Ugric religious tradition has been dectected, as for instance in the case of bear killing and the bear feast of the Ob-Ugrians, Karelians, and Sami. There are also phenomena that can only be explained historically, such as the revival of dirge ceremonies in Russian and Karelian areas because of the sufferings caused by World War II.


One way to organize the Finno-Ugric religious traditions is by the occupations of hunting and fishing, cattle breeding and nomadism, and agriculture and subordinate handicraft industries. These forms of subsistence do not normally occur alone, however, but in various combinations. It is the skillful combination of many different sources of livelihood and the calendar cycle based on these that characterizes most Finno-Ugric groups and their religious tradition. Three calendar systems basically contribute to the formation of the cycle: the calendars of nature, of human work, and of the church (saints' days and so on). The cycle requires new roles of the individual and the recreating of different social worlds of the community; specialists exist, but the division of labor rarely allows specialists of one domain only. The calendrical cycle expressed by calendar rites is crucial for the cohesion of society and its communal economic activity.

Another important organizing factor of ritual life is the human life cycle from birth to death and the accompanying rites of passage. Through these it is possible to express and legitimize changes of social status and reinforce the prevailing social structure. The early Finno-Ugric communities do not seem to have developed elaborate ceremonies of initiationeven the shamanic initiation did not involve large audiencesbut the idea of initiation can be seen in small rituals such as the wrapping of a newborn child in his or her father's sweaty shirt, bringing "tooth money" to the new child (Karelia), dressing the bride, guiding the deceased to their relatives in the otherworld, and so on. Weddings and funerals, along with feasts of the agricultural year, comprise the most developed ritual dramas.

Religion of hunters and fishermen

True hunting communities have survived longest in the Arctic and sub-Arctic zones, but traces of their mythology and religious rites continue to survive in various combined economies where hunting or fishing has played a subsidiary role. Finno-Ugric materials demonstrate a special sensitivity to and knowledge of nature. In the world of the hunter, who generally works alone, animals, plants, and rocks possess a character of their own and must be addressed properly. The hunter sees himself as an interloper on someone else's territory; the animals and features of the forest communicate promises, warnings, and threats. It is not enough for the hunter to know about the best fishing and hunting places and seasons. He must also know about the being who rules over the forest and its inhabitants, the forest master or mistress; he must understand the ways of the "lord of the animals," who determines the movement and fate of all the living creatures in the forest, and of the special guardian spirits that watch over particular animal species. The territorial aspect is also important, in that different formations of nature possess their own local spirits. No less important is the annual cycle, especially the beginning and the end of a season, which later on came to be marked by Christian saints' days. The Lapp way of life meant an annual cycle: The Sami were called the People of the Eight Seasons (after Ernst Manker's 1975 book) because they patterned their lives after their knowledge of the resources of the environment on the annual migration of the wild deer and elk; the spawning and mating cycles of the salmon, trout, and other fish, ptarmigan, swan, goose and other birds; the harvest season for berry picking; and so on.

The most venerated animal in their Arctic and sub-Arctic territories was the bear, seen by the Sami and Ob-Ugrians as their totemic ancestor and as the son of the sky god Num torem. Several myths that recount either the marriage between the first bear and a human girl or the heavenly origin of the bear and its descent to earth and relate how it was slain and returned home to the celestial father after special ceremonies seem to be of common Finno-Ugric origin. These myths were recited in bear ceremonies, during both the killing and the feast itself, events that abound in dramatic and verbal elements. The Ob-Ugrian Khanty and Mansi still perform the complex bear ceremony lasting seven dayswith each day pertaining to one of the seven stars in the Great Bear constellationwhich has been developed into actual theater performances; hundreds of ritual and semiprofane plays and dances are performed during the feast. The totemic element is apparent in the Ob-Ugric moiety system, which consists of the mós (the heavenly people, who are hunters and eaters of raw meat) and the por (the underground people, who are wizards and eaters of cooked meat); these phratries observe different norms concerning bear hunting. Although the bear is the object of rites and veneration among most of the northern peoples of Asia and America, there are few ritual dramas comparable to the bear ceremonies of the Ob-Ugrians, Finns, and Sami. Even during the course of the more normal hunting of game, the verbal componentprayers, spells, and songsis well developed among the Finno-Ugrians. The spirits are usually designated by compounds such as "forest-man," "forest-father," or "forest-master." The system of "fathers" and/or "mothers" of territories, places, buildings, and so on was common.

Religion of cattle breeders and nomads

Cattle breeding is an important subsidiary means of livelihood especially among the Finno-Ugrians of the north, where agriculture is constantly threatened by the climate. The religious profile of cattle breeders is not as clear-cut as that of the hunters and farmers; it also appears in symbiosis with the beliefs of those who practice agriculture. As a means of subsistence, nomadism is also subsidiary, not only to agriculture, but also to hunting. When the flocks of wild reindeer grew thin, the Arctic hunters of both Fennoscandia and the Kanin Peninsula developed reindeer herding, which in some places, such as Sweden, led to full domestication and a dairy economy. Only the reindeer was capable of finding its food even under the snow, and it soon became an indispensable draft and slaughter animal. Another area for wide-scale herding was the Hungarian plains, where the swampy land was unsuitable for farming but provided excellent pasture.

The yearly cycle of the cattle breeder is roughly divided into two halves: the indoor period and the outdoor period; only in Hungary is there some outdoor herding all year round. In the winter horses and cows are under the rule of the owner/cattle breeder and his or her supranormal counterpart, the stable or cowhouse spirit. In the summer the herdsman, often an employee, takes over and the supranormal guardianship is transferred to the forest spirit or other spirits in the landscape. The cattle owner and herdsman observe many rituals, which tend to accumulate at the beginning and the end of a season; minor prayers and offerings that relate to such events as imminent danger or bad weather are also performed during the season.

In the Balto-Finnic areas Saint George's Day (April 23) marks the sending of the cattle to pasture; the ritual has to be performed even if it was too cold for outdoor herding. The animals were encircled by people who walk around the flock carrying an icon of Saint George, an ax, burning coal, gunpowder, churchyard dirt, quicksilver, a hymnal, and a bear's tooth, among other items. Magic signs were drawn on the animals, doorposts, or the cattle's intended route. Food offerings were brought to the forest spirit, and an egg was thrown over the flock. The cattle owner asked the herdsman, the victorious dragon-slayer Saint George, and the forest mistress to join forces to protect the cattle against bears, wolves, and other dangers.

In October the cattle were taken indoors; the autumnal season was brought to an end by slaughtering a sheep or cow around Michaelmas (September 29) or All Saints' Day (November 1). This was the first "New Year" festival, during which dead relatives visited one's home, and, in northern Karelia, the myth of the slaying of the Great Ox was sung. Many southern Finno-Ugric peoples combine their cattle breeding cult with summer feasts and offerings organized primarily as part of the agricultural cycle. In long prayers presented on these occasions cow luck, horse luck, and so on is asked from many gods of the sky and the earth.

Religion of farmers

The society and religion of hunters and cattle breeders is competitive; among the latter, especially, the rites are directed against fellows and neighbors. Even if the principle of "limited good" (one's success means another's loss and vice versa, because the sum of good is constant) is valid in agriculture, the atmosphere is clearly more social and collective than in cattle husbandry. This social atmosphere is clearly expressed in the great rural ritual feasts of the southern Finno-Ugric peoples: the Mordvins, the Mari, and the Udmurts. The traditions of the last two groups derive to a large extent from their Turco-Tatar neighbors, whereas the Mordvins have adopted more from the Russians; regardless, all three have used Finno-Ugric and other traditions of their particular region in creating their agricultural cycles. A broad social approach, in which success is sought not only for the individual or his family, but also for the whole village or a larger population, especially the poor and disabled, prevails in the long prayer recitations performed in connection with animal and food offerings to dozens of gods and spirits. A Mari prayer from the Kazan area lists what is valued in the following order: family, cattle, corn, bees, money, long life, and great happiness. Another value often stressed in prayer is "harmony"; that is, avoidance of quarrels and disruptive feelings, which is seen as a condition to be met before addressing the gods.

The central mythologems of the farmer are the earth and the sky. These parts of the cosmos or their personifications alternately are manifest in the prayers and rites. Earth is above all the female progenitor, Mother Earth; as such, she is sometimes represented as the generic Corn Mother, and sometimes as the mother or guardian of a particular kind of grain or field. The sky god is closely associated with rain, wind, and other types of storms. Thought of as male, he begets the earth. The myth of Hieros gamos, the matrimony of heaven and earth, has been preserved in epic poetry and in connection with rainmaking rituals of the Balto-Finnic area. Importance is also attached to the patron saints of agriculture, among whom Elijah and the Saints Peter and Nicholas are the most central. Various feasts may be observed during midsummer, the period of growth, when the working routines are laid still and the crops are at the mercy of the weather, insects, forest animals, and other natural factors. The Finno-Ugric farmer's worldview is oriented toward peace and harmony, every kind of growth and fertility, personal health, social good, and avoidance of misfortune. The farmer enumerates all the gods to avoid offending any of them and bows to them all; a Mari or Udmurt bows "upward," sacrificing a white animal to the sky, and "downward," sacrificing a black animal to the ancestors, thus placing himself in the middle of a three-storied universe.


Two well-known myths of the origin of the world are found among Finno-Ugric peoples, those of the earth diver and of the world egg. In the diver myth, God orders the Devil (originally a water bird) to bring earth from the botton of the primeval sea; on the third attempt, he succeeds but tries to hide some of the earth in his mouth. When God scatters sand and the earth begins to grow, the deceit is unmasked; from the earth found in the cheek of the Devil the mountains and hills are formed. The myth is known from the Ob River to Finland and to the Mordvins in the Volga area. The eastern Finnish variant contains an interesting introduction: God stands on a golden statue in the sea and orders his reflection in the water to rise; this reflection becomes the Devil. The global distribution of the world-egg myth is equatorial, but its northernmost occurrence is found in Finland and Estonia. A water bird or an eagle makes a nest on the knee of the creator (Väinämöinen), who is floating in the sea. It lays an egg, which rolls into the water, and pieces of it become the earth, the sky, the moon, and the stars. Myths concerning the creation of humans are found in various forms among the Mansi, Volga Finns, and Karelians; the Karelian version typifies the basic scenario: A hummock rises from the sea, a tree stump on it splits open, and the first human couple steps forth.

Cosmogonic myths function as powerful protomyths: The origin of any phenomenon must be linked to the central cosmographic symbols, and various etiological continuations to these basic myths are therefore abundant. According to the cosmography of the Finno-Ugrians, a stream encircles the world, which is covered by the canopy of the heavens, the central point of which is the North Star (the "nail of the sky" on which the sky rotates); this star is sometimes associated with the world pole that supports the sky. A world treeoften the tree of lifeand a world mountain rise at the center of the universe; there is a world omphalos deep in the center of the earth and a corresponding abyss of the sea that swallows ships. On the backs of three fish rest the foundations of the earth; the movements of these fish cause floods and earthquakes. Another possible cause of the destruction of the world is that the world pole collapses and the heavenssometimes described as being seven- or nine-storiedtumble down.

Much of this symbolism is well known in other parts of the world, but some details may be exclusively Finno-Ugric. An example is the belief that the sun, moon, and stars are found on the branches of the world tree, usually a great oak. Cosmographic symbols also occur frequently in contexts outside the rituals, in folk poetry.

Sanctuaries and Offerings

The home sanctuary of the Udmurts is called the kuala. It is a small log cabin in the corner of a square building formation that constitutes the house. In the back corner of the kuala is a shelf, on which are branches of deciduous trees and conifers, and above them is a vorsud, an empty box with a lid. This is a family shrine for weekly offerings, but if the master of the house is the head of a large family, children may come from afar on certain days to worship here. A new kuala can only be founded with earth and ashes from the father's kuala. It is believed that in former times the vorsud was not empty but contained effigies of spirits. This tradition still continues among Finno-Ugric peoples. Juha Pentikäinen's field research in North Eurasia (1989-2003) includes several examples on shamanic practices of the mobile Ob-Ugric hunters who still carry their spirit effigies in a special sleigh when migrating.

Another Udmurt sanctuary is the lud a fenced-off area in an isolated place in the woods. In the middle is a table for offerings that are made by the family to dispel diseases, to mark calendric observances, and so on. In addition, there are fenced-off sanctuaries for the offerings of the village; these sanctuaries are sometimes situated near the cornfields. Somewhat similar arrangements are found among the Volga Finns (the keremet of the ancestors) and in the Balto-Finnic area where, when slash-and-burn agriculture spread into virgin land and distances grew between pioneering families, village groves were replaced by sacrificial stones (with gouged cups on the surface) and sacred family trees near the dwellings.

Among the nomadic, reindeer-breeding and fishing Sami, the seita was a place for sacrifices; it was a cave, a tree stump, or a stone, often clearly visible because of its peculiar (natural) shape, usually chosen near difficult places along a reindeer trail or at some good fishing spot. Offerings were made to enhance the safety of reindeer, good fishing, and so on. Many a sanctuary was only temporary, used for one or two offerings only, and founded mainly to mark a good hunting or fishing ground and to guarantee future luck by giving the first piece of game to the gods.

Shamans and Other Mediators

Religious professionalism manifested as priesthood is rare among the Finno-Ugrians. The cults and rites discussed earlier were conducted by those in occupational roles, in some instances as head of a family or working team. Ancestor worship as the predominant cultic form tends to support this kind of arrangement as well. A division of labor took place so that washing and dressing the body as well as lamenting throughout mortuary ceremonies is female work, but shamanic visits to lift up bodies from graves, for example, usually belong to the male ritual repertoire of the shamanic society. Religious performance then becomes part and parcel of working routines and role performance in general.

There is, however, one important exception: the noita (shaman or sage). Since noita is spoken only in Finnish, Sami, and Mansi, the word is hardly Finno-Ugric. According to scholarly opinions, expressed by Vilmos Diószegi, Honko, Mihály Hoppál, and so on, the early stratum of Finno-Ugric religion must have contained shamanism, although pure shamanism has been documented only in the far north among the Sami and Samoyeds. Indirect evidence supporting this hypothesis is based on the form of similar oral traditions and officiants (from the Finnish tietäjä to the Hungarian taltós ), who experience a kind of "verbal ecstasy" and display comparable shamanic symbols in their outfits. Although scholars argue that the Finno-Ugric shamans were many things, including diviners, healers, priests, and experts in various technical skills, it may not be proper to deal with all divine or priestry roles as expressions of shamanim. Rather, there were different types of experts among different Finno-Ugric peoples who held the highest authority on crisis rites and defended the society against malevolent forces by exercising counter-magic and performing rites of propitiation. Their interpretation became the guideline in times of uncertainty.

Cult priests like the Udmurt tuno or the Mari kart have accordingly been dealt with as representations of relatively late specialization under the impact of foreign culture, whereas the designation for shaman that is found from Finland (Finnish noita ; northern Sami noaidi ) to the Ob River (Mansi najt ) speaks for a more original stratum (the term has many interesting parallels in these languages). Ancient Finnish folk poetry, Hungarian fairy tales, and other such material have been interpreted as carriers of shamanic motifs, and even if some assumptions prove faulty, the general picture has been regared as likely to persist. Although the old Scandinavian saga and Edda traditions also include a similar stratum, other European parallels should be considered. Sami drum and jojk singing is a clear parallel to Siberian and Ob-Ugrian shamanhood. Even though no drums have been found from the Finns, the fact remains that until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Finnish and Karelian tietäjä still fulfilled many functions and used many techniques and expressions in his charms and vocabulary reminiscent of shamanic practiuces and folklore in Siberia.

To balance the picture, Honko introduces the female counterpart of the tietäjä, the lamenter (Finnish itkijä ), who with her ecstatic performance was able to set the entire audience at a funeral or a memorial feast in the socially proper mood and prepared a catharsis from uncertainty and grief for her community. Lamenting was customary in the rites of departure (conscription, weddings, and funerals) and the lamenter became a kind of psychopomp who with her intensive empathy and metaphorical language guided the helpless object of the rite. This tradition lived with the indirect support of the Russian Orthodox Church much longer than most traditions discussed earlier and is still practiced in certain parts of Soviet Karelia.

See Also

Castrén, Matthias Alexander; Dömötör, Tekla; Finnish Religions; Haavio, Martti; Harva, Uno; Honko, Lauri; Hungarian Religion; Khanty and Mansi Religion; Mari and Mordvin Religion; Sami Religion; Samoyed Religion.


A comprehensive presentation of Finno-Ugric mythology by Uno Holmberg (later, Harva) can be found in The Mythology of All Races, vol. 4 (1927; reprint, New York, 1964). Many monographs on the religion of the Finno-Ugric peoples have been published in the series Folklore Fellows' Communications (Helsinki, 1910). More recent works are Ivar Paulson's "Die Religionen der finnischen Völker," in Die Religionen Nordeurasiens und der amerikanischen Arktis, edited by Paulson, Åke Hultkrantz, and Karl Jettmar, pp. 145303 (Stuttgart, 1962), and "Religionen der finnisch-ugrischen Völker," in Handbuch der Religionsgeschichte, witten by Honko, edited by Jes Peter Asmussen and Jørgen Laessøe, vol. 1, pp. 173224 (Göttingen, Germany, 1971). Honko, with Senni Timonen, Keith Bosley, and Michael Branch, published an assemby of Finno-Ugric ritual texts in their original languages and in translation, with commentaries, in The Great Bear: Folk Poetry in the Finno-Ugrian Languages (Helsinki, 1993). Komi Mythology by Nikolay Konakov and others is the first volume in the Encyclopaedia of Uralic Mythology, edited by Siikala, Napolskih, and Hoppal, and will include compendia on various Finno-Ugric religions dating the classical series "Suomen suvun uskonnot" (Religions of the Finno-Ugrian Peoples) by Kaarle Krohn, Holmberg (Harva), and K. F. Karjalainen. For further reading on Estonian fok religion, see Ivar Paulson's The Old Estonian Folk Religion (Bloomington, Ind., 1971). Additional references to basic Finno-Ugric sources can be found in respective entries of this dictionary, as well as in the bibliographies of the above-cited works and the Wörterbuch der Mythologie series (Stuttgart, 1965).

Lauri Honko (1987)

Juha PentikÄinen (2005)