Elias Lönnrot’s famous pine tree is located in the Hummovaara village of Kesälahti. During his first collection trip, Lönnrot spent time underneath the tree in June 1828 to record poems, old wives’ tales and spells recited and recounted by Juhana Kainulainen. Over the course of two days, Lönnrot wrote down a total of 2,551 verses and 59 separate poems – the majority of them spells. These poems formed a significant portion of the Runokokous Väinämöinen collection, which is often referred to as the Proto-Kalevala. The pieces included poems on the Sampo and a hymn of Lemminkäinen.
The pine tree is located in the yard area of the house that used to be Kainulainen’s home. It is said that the tree was planted by the youngest son of the Kainulainen family upon his engagement. The bride died, however, and the pine became a sacrificial tree for the Kainulainen family. Juhana Kainulainen, who was known as a hunter, took the skulls of bears he felled to the tree and recited spells.
Next to Lönnrot’s pine tree stands a Karelian-style log building completed in 1989 and dubbed Juhanantupa. In the summer, it houses a lunch restaurant and café. The building, which is a tourist attraction in itself, contains wooden sculptures, for example.