Emännänveitsi: Part Two

More about the emännänveitsi… the story about the shape of the blade has been explained to me as it has been passed down through the years. It seems the man of the house didn’t want his wife to have a large knife with a sharp point. It could be used against him if he misbehaved. An angry wife could inflict much damage. I enjoy learning folklore like this, it’s not usually found in books.

Tuomas Tolmala:

“Emännänveitsi is one of my favorites, even if it is not a puukko. I really like to listen to the real blacksmith’s stories from history. So here is some extra info about emännänveitsi. At least some of this is more or less true;-) I have kept as true the story that originally Finnish emännänveitsi was “born” when a man’s knife tip broke and it was not suitable for work anymore. So the man severed the handle and re-forged the tang and what was left from the blade. The shape was light and more feminine,  so more suitable for the wife.  Another thing was that thanks to the shorter blade the man may sleep peacefully without a fear of getting stabbed to death by his wife.”

An emännänveitsi with birch bark sheath  by Tuomas Tolmala.

An emännänveitsi with birch bark sheath by Tuomas Tolmala.

Sami Länsipaltta:

 “Usually these knives don’t have the sharp tip on the blade. I don’t know if this is some kind of legend/story, but husbands didn’t want that their wife’s carrying a  sharp pointed knife so that’s why the knives don’t have that kind of tip (nirko).  I think that men were afraid that their own wife would stab them when they did something stupid, like being drunk or messing around.”

So there you have it! Although, the knives in this post look like they could do some serious damage to an offending husband.  Also, here is a WIP by Ilkka Seikku on how to make a tuohituppi for the knife. I’d like to tell more about the making of tuohituppis in the future, from the harvesting and preparation of the bark to a finished sheath. I think they are really nice traditional sheaths and would like to see more of them.

Here are photos from Ilkka showing him making a tuohituppi:

Ilkka 1

Ilkka 12

Ilkka 2

Ilkka 3

Ilkka 4

ilkka 5

Ilkka 6

Ilkka 7

Ilkka 8

Ilkka 9

Ilkka 10

Ilkka 11

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3 responses to “Emännänveitsi: Part Two

  1. Good stuff as always, Mike. I sent a link to my buddy Smallfoot who I’m sure would love to take a stab at making an emännänveitsi.

  2. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on.
    Many thanks

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