Akka (spirit)

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Excerpt of a sami drum of the southern sami type, with three typical motives emphasized: the storage house (1), the pound (2) and the mother goddesses Sáráhkká, Juoksáhkká and Uksáhkká (3-5).

Akka is a female spirit in Sami shamanism and Finnish mythology. Worship of the akka was common and took the form of sacrifices, pleas for help and various rituals. Some Sámi believed the akka lived under their tents. As with other gods, the name appears within some geographical names, leaving a legacy of Sami presence.

Sami mythology[edit]

  • Maderakka, the first akka, was mother of the tribe, goddess of women and children, she who gives humans their bodies; women belong to her and boys belong to her until they are declared men. Maderakka is popular among modern Sámi feminists. Maderakka's three daughters are:
    • Sarakka is the goddess of fertility, menstruation, love, human sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth; after a birth, a woman would eat a special porridge dedicated to her. The modern Sámi women's organisation The Sarahkka formed in 1988 and is named in honor of her.[1][2][3]
    • Juksakka, "akka with an arrow," is the protector of children.
    • Uksakka shapes the fetus in the mother's womb and assigns humans their sex.
  • Jabme-Akka, "the akka of the dead," is a goddess of the underworld. Spirits of lost babies are soothed and comforted by her, but all other spirits dwell in sorrow. The land of the dead is said to be a mirror of the land of the living where everything is the opposite. So, the dead are buried with the essentials of living (e.g. knives) and anything that would make their afterlife better.

Akka in Finnish and Estonian mythologies[edit]

In Finnish mythology, Akka is the wife of Ukko and is the goddess of fertility. As they make love, thunder rolls. She could be seen as the female side of nature, Maaemonen "mother earth", whom Ukko fertilizes.

In Estonian mythology she is known as Maan-Emo.[4][5]


  1. ^ Andrews, Sara. "Women in Saami Society". Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Olakunle, Olusegun Olawale. "The Sarahkka – Sámi womans organization". Project 200501253-39. University of Trømso. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Olakunle, Olusegun Olawale (2006). The Sarahkka and The Sami Nisson Forum : a general overview of their historical background, and a consideration on the roles of these Sámi women organisations in the quest for the right to self-determination of the Sámi indigenous peoples of Norway. Tromsø: O. O. Olakunle. 
  4. ^ Guirand, Félix (1959). Larousse encyclopedia of mythology. Prometheus Press. p. 318. 
  5. ^ Carlyon, Richard (1981). A guide to the gods. Heinemann/Quixote. p. 257.