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 of Helsinki; and (b) an unincorporated community in the USA state of Michigan. He also appears in the Nightwish song, Elvenpath, as Tapio, bear king, ruler of the forest.

Jean Sibelius's 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.