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p. 148



STORIES relating to the Devil are very frequent in Esthonian literature, and notwithstanding the universal notion that you sell yourself to him by giving him three drops of your blood, or by signing a compact with your blood, yet many stories of this class are evidently pre-Christian. He is generally represented as a buffoon, and easily outwitted. Further particulars respecting him will be found in the Introduction. The stories incidentally referred to in this section of our work are mostly related by Jannsen.

 As regards sorcery, the Esthonians appear to have regarded the Finns, and the Finns the Lapps, as proficient in magic, each people attributing most skill to those living north of themselves. However, it should be mentioned that there is a ballad in the Finnish Kanteletar in which the sun and moon are p. 149 represented as stolen by German and Esthonian sorcerers. In the Kalevala they are stolen by Louhi, the witch-queen of Lapland.

 The first story of this series, “The Son of the Thunder-God,” represents this demigod as actually selling his soul to the Devil, and tricking the Devil out of it. The Thunder-God is here called Paristaja, and also Vana Kōu; but in other tales he is usually called Pikne, and is no doubt identical with the Perkunas of the Lithuanians. In this story the Devil is called Kurat, the Evil One; and also Vanapois (the Old Boy), as in other tales.

 The primitive manner in which the undutiful son tickles the nose of his august father is amusing. Vana (old) seems to be a term of respect applied to gods and devils alike.