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1001 Stories Collection

The Forging of the Sampo

1001 theforgingofthesampo
Added on 15th August 2020

Oral tradition Finnish folktale from The Kalevala

The story of the making of the Sampo, one of most magical objects in folktales.


The blacksmith Ilmarinen is asked by the mistress of Pohjola to forge the Sampo, a magical artefact. He agrees to undertake the task on the condition that he can marry the woman’s daughter. Ilmarinen builds a furnace and on the first day forges a crossbow, but it comes with a price. Each day a new object is forged, but all have dangerous consequences…

Why we chose it

The Kalevala is the great Finnish national epic which combines old Finnish ballads, songs and folklore from Finnish oral tradition. The Forging of the Sampo is one of the best known stories from the epic.

Where it came from

The Forging of the Sampo is just one part of an epic Finnish poem called the Kalevala. It is made up of lots of myths and folklore that would have been well known in Finland before the poem was written in 1835.

Where it went next

Each year, Kalevala Day is celebrated in Finland on the 28th of February. It is a flag day, where the Finnish national flag is flown from buildings all over the country.

An asteroid has also been named after the legend. It’s called 2091 Sampo.

Associated stories

The Kalevala contains 50 epic poems and songs.

Added on 15th August 2020

Oral tradition Finnish folktale from The Kalevala