Tapio (spirit)

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For other uses, see Tapio.

Tapio is an East Finnish forest spirit or god, who figures prominently in the Kalevala. Hunters prayed to him before a hunt. His wife is the goddess of the forest, Mielikki. He was the father of Annikki, Tellervo, Nyyrikki (the god of hunting), and Tuulikki. Fitting the Green Man archetype, Tapio has a beard of lichen and eyebrows of moss.

He lends his name, in the form of Tapiola, to:

a) one of the major urban centres within the city of Espoo outside Helsinki; and

b) an unincorporated community in the US state of Michigan.

He also appears in the Nightwish song, Elvenpath, as Tapio, bear king, ruler of the forest.

Jean Sibelius' tone poem Tapiola (1926) is a depiction of the forest Tapio inhabits.

Interesting facts[edit]

In Hungary there is a Tápió region through which the Tápio river flows. One of the villages there takes the name Tápióság.