The roots of Tarvas and Moose

Tarvas

Tarvas is an old Finnish word. It has had several meanings but generally it has meant a bull with horns or antlers like Moose, Wild Reindeer or Aurochs, the ancestor of domestic cattle. Aurochs is an extinct type of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa

From Tarvas comes also name Tarvo which has meant bull and also drinking horn. This word has come from Indo European Baltic languages where words like Tauras and Taurus are used. In Estonia Tarvas has meant Aurochs and Red Deer.

The Tarvas statue which is made by the Estonian sculptor Tauno Kangro, depicts an aurochs. It is thought to be the largest animal statue in the Baltic countries.

In Finland we have a municipality called Tarvasjoki. In the arms of Tarvasjoki is a picture of Red deer.

Tarvas in Finnish mythology

Tarvas is mentioned in Finnish mythology like in Kalevala and in old folklore. In old folklore it is written: "In Pohjola moose are hanged and Tarvas killed. There is lot of meat and blood to eat no matter how hungry people are"

Pohjola or Pohja is a location in Finnish mythology, sometimes translated in English as Northland or Pohjoland. One of them associates it with the Sami, the northern neighbors of the Finns. Some include parts of Lapland and ancient Kainuu in Kalevala's Pohjola. Some point out a similarity with the name Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia in English), a region in western Finland. This is the place where I was born and where Tarvas bullets are made. Pohjola has also been thought of as a purely abstract place, the source of evil — a foreboding, a forever cold land far in the north.

Moose

Although the swan is the national animal of Finland, moose has always been important. This conclusion can be drawn from ancient drawings, petroglyphs, where it appears much more than bears do. It is also theorized that the bear was such a holy animal that it was forbidden to depict it.

In Finnish mythology and folklores stories of the moose are common. One of the most well known is the story of Hiisis Moose in the folklore Kalevala. (Hiisi is depicted as demonic or trickster-like entities). This moose was a strong, fast and extremely difficult to catch. In the lore Louhi, the Mistress of Pohjola, sets a task for the suitor Lemminkäinen to catch the moose alive. The moose escapes with enormous strength to a Lappish village, spills the pot from the fire and causes a lot of other damage. After all the moose was catch.

In old beliefs the more moose was catch during the winter before the spring the faster the summer came.

Tarvas Logo

Tarvas logo is a based on old Finnish petroglyphs found in Astuvansalmi and Ruominkapia and is sketched by Tuohirulla