Otso

In Finnish mythology Otso, Ohto, Kontio the king of the forest or honeypaws is one of the many rarely uttered circumlocutory epithets for the spirit that was never directly named. Generally the spirit of the bear was referred to as friend, brother, uncle, forestcousin or ways were thought up that would bypass the need to refer to the spirit at all, even indirectly.

Some sub-traditions considered the bear to be a relative who had fled the community and been transmogrified by the power of the forest.

If a bear had to be killed, a sacred ritual of Peijainen (which some consider the source of the Odin and Wotan myths) was held and it's spirit in the form of its skull remained in a sacred clearing which was upkept, and people would bring expiatory and tributory gifts to it.

The circumlocutory forms "friend" and "brother" re-entered Finnish idiom with the Cold War era. The Soviets were often ironically referred to as brother Russian, or the Russian friend alluding to the non-friendship-friendship the Finnish people once cultivated with the spirit of the bear. And still it still lives on in Ice-hockey where the players refer to the opposing team as kaveri ("mate"), rather than naming the team directly.


">
" size=20>

 
 

Browse articles alphabetically:
#0">0 | #1">1 | #2">2 | #3">3 | #4">4 | #5">5 | #6">6 | #7">7 | #8">8 | #9">9 | #_">_ | #A">A | #B">B | #C">C | #D">D | #E">E | #F">F | #G">G | #H">H | #I">I | #J">J | #K">K | #L">L | #M">M | #N">N | #O">O | #P">P | #Q">Q | #R">R | #S">S | #T">T | #U">U | #V">V | #W">W | #X">X | #Y">Y | #Z">Z