3 Iku-Turso


Iku-Turso [IPA|ˈikuˌturso] ("the eternal Turso"; also known as Iku-Tursas, Iki-Tursas, Meritursas, Tursas, Turisas among others) is a malevolent sea monster in the Finnish mythology. "Tursas" means octopus in Finnish. However, the animal was named after Iku-Turso.


His appearance remains unclear, but he is described with several epithets: "partalainen" (the one who lives on the edge, or alternatively, the bearded one), "Tuonen härkä" (the ox of Tuoni, Death), "tuhatpää" (thousand-headed), "tuhatsarvi" (thousand-horned). It was sometimes said that he lived in Pohjola, but that may be because Pohjola was often perceived as the home of all evil.

In some versions of the spell "The Birth of Nine Diseases" Iku-Turso is mentioned as the father of diseases with Loviatar, the blind daughter of Tuoni, the god of death. The Scandinavian giants thurs had the ability to shoot arrows which caused diseases in people. This and the fact that "thurs" resembles "Tursas" gives credence to the idea that they may be related. Some runes tell that "Meritursas partalainen" makes pregnant the Maiden of Air (Ilman impi, Ilmatar). She later gave birth to Väinämöinen, which would make him a truly primeval creature. On the other hand, he is also mentioned as the son of Äijö (a name usually assigned to the God of sky).

A god of war?

In the list of Tavastian gods by Michael Agricola, he is mentioned as the god of war: "Turisas voiton antoi sodast" (Turisas brought victory in war). It has been suggested that the god in the list is same as the Scandinavian god of war Tyr; however, this theory is not widely supported today. It is more likely that Tur(i)sas was the name of a disease-demon who shot sickness-inducing projectiles. This shooting motif may have been the reason why he was interpreted as the Finnish Mars during the 16th century. On the other hand, it is conceivable that even the pre-historic Finns may have sometimes seen this spirit, who could bring decimating illnessess among the enemies, as a war-deity.

Iku-Turso in Kalevala

He is mentioned several times in the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. In the second cantos he rises from the sea and burns a stack of hay. Later, a giant oak grows from the ashes. The tree grows so large that it hides the sun and the moon and is cut down.

Later, Iku-Turso is summoned by Louhi, the Lady of the North, to stop the theft of the magical artefact Sampo. Väinämöinen, the leader of the plunderers, grabs Iku-Turso from his ears and using magical words makes him promise to never return from the bottom of the sea.


One of the five submarines used by Finland in the Second World War was named after Iku-Turso. After the war the Soviet Union denied Finland the use of submarines, and it was sold to Belgium for scrapping. [http://www.veteraanienperinto.fi/suomi/Kertomukset/sotilas/sotilas/jatkosota/sukellusvenesotaa.htm] Other things named after the mythical being are the Asteroid 2828 Iku-Turso and a Finnish metal band Turisas. In popular culture, Iku-Turso wreaks havoc in Helsinki in the Donald Duck comic book story "The Quest for Kalevala" by Don Rosa.

ee also




*cite book
last = Turunen
first = Aimo
title = Kalevalan sanat ja niiden taustat
publisher = Karjalaisen kulttuurin edistämissäätiö
date = 1981
id = ISBN 951-9363-24-6

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iku-Turso (Asteroid) — Asteroid (2828) Iku Turso Eigenschaften des Orbits (Simulation) Orbittyp Hauptgürtelasteroid Große Halbachse 2,2414  …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Finnish submarine Iku-Turso — Iku Turso was a Finnish 500 tonne Vetehinen class submarine that was launched in May 1931 and who served in the Finnish Navy during the second World War. It was named after Finnish god, Iku Turso. Built by Crichton Vulkan in Turku according to… …   Wikipedia

  • (2828) Iku-Turso — Asteroid (2828) Iku Turso Eigenschaften des Orbits (Animation) Orbittyp Hauptgürtelasteroid Große Halbachse 2,2414 AE …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 2828 Iku-Turso — Minor Planet name=2828 Iku Turso discoverer=Liisi Oterma discovery date=February 18, 1942 designations= ? category=? epoch= (JD 2453800.5) semimajor=335.414 Gm (2.2421068 AU) perihelion=305.254 Gm (2.0405 AU) aphelion=365.572 Gm (2.4437 AU)… …   Wikipedia

  • IKU — Nihongo| Iku |行く| is a Japanese word meaning to go .IKU may refer to: * I.K.U., a 2001 Japanese erotic cyberpunk film * IKU (Continental Shelf Institute), the former title of SINTEF Petroleum Research * IKU (singer), a Japanese singer debuted in… …   Wikipedia

  • Clase Vetehinen — Submarinos Clase Vetehinen y nodriza minador M 1 País productor …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Quest for Kalevala — Infobox Comic name = The Quest for Kalevala image caption = Cover scan of Scrooge McDuck issue 334. code = D 99078 title orig = hero = Scrooge McDuck appearances = Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie, Gyro Gearloose, Little Helper …   Wikipedia

  • Kalevala (synopses) — The Kalevala is considered the national epic of Finland. It was compiled and edited by Elias Lönnrot while he was a district health officer in (then under the governance of Russia) eastern Finland. The poem consists of 50 runos or cantos and… …   Wikipedia

  • Весихииси (подводная лодка — Весихииси (подводная лодка, 1930) Весихииси История …   Википедия

  • Ику-Турсо — «Ику Турсо» Iku Turso …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.