Finnish Folklore Wiki

Kilpalaulanta ("competitive singing") is a spell casting duel in Finnic poetry. The participants cast spells on each other by singing and compete in their level of knowledge.

The most famous kilpalaulanta duel was fought between Väinämöinen and Joukahainen when the world was still young. Joukahainen's words turned out to be women and children's little rhymes, while Väinämöinen sung ancient knowledge that shook the earth and made the lakes foam. The might of Väinämöinen's magic pushed Joukahainen down into a bog.[1]

Kilpalaulanta is also practised by real life runonlaulajat (poem-singers) who compete in the length and quality of their poems.


  1. Kilpalaulanta. Kalevalaseura.