Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Akka's of Finnish Mythology

Akka is traditionally a female spirit in Sami and Finnish mythology.  Akka  means old woman and in Finland, it means great grandmother or ancestress.   Madder means earth or ground. Madderakka is the Sami goddess of childbirth. She is assisted by three of Her daughters—Zarakka, the cleaving woman; Uksakka, the door woman; and Juksakka, the bow woman—who watch over the development of the child from conception through early childhood.

Madderakka and Her male companion Madderatcha were, according to the Lapps, the divine couple who created humankind. Madder-Atcha was responsible for the soul and MadderAkka for the body.  To form a child the spirit was given to Madderakka who created the body for the soul which had been received from Radien, the world ruler deity, and then placed in the mother's womb.   While Madderakka had general control of fertility, Her daughters were more directly involved with human reproduction.

Juksakka can change in the womb a daughter to a son.   Zarakka was also thought of as the separating woman who made childbirth easier and was considered to be a deity of women in a more general sense, aiding them in women's concerns such as menstruation.  It was said that She suffers the pain of childbirth right along with the mother. Ussakka  was believed to receive the child at birth and care for it, protecting it from accidents.

Madderakka lived inside the walls.  The place of Zarakka is in the middle of the house, by the hearth.  Uksakka, the old door woman, was supposed to guard the entrance to the hut. Thus a little milk was always thrown out of the door at mealtime in order to win the favor of the Uks-akka.  Jusakka was probably at the back of the house. 


  1. Ancestress of the earth, great grandmother, wise woman! Help abounds for us!

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I so agree with Magnolia!

    Beautiful Grandmother!

    I readily identify!

    So Happy you got signed up Mary...
    Have a Wonderful and Relaxing Weekend Sister!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. :-) I recently joined a medieval group and adopted Finnish shaman as my medieval persona. I'm really enjoying researching the history and culture of medieval Finland. :-)