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The cave paintings of Julma-Ölkky and Värikallio

Cave paintings from the Stone Age were discovered by chance during a ski trip in 1977 at Värikallio. A human figure resembling a “stick figure” has been painted on the rock. The figure has a triangular face with marked eyes and a nose. The second painting is a stick-like painting resembling a moose. These have not been found elsewhere in Finland.

A total of 61 cave paintings have been found on the surface of Värikallio. All of these are somehow related to hunting and shamanism. Many of the paintings would also be women or women about to give birth. This is what Pekka Kivikäs says. He has studied prehistoric cave paintings in Finland. The paintings were probably painted from a boat or on top of the ice. Despite this, boats have not been depicted in cave paintings, though they are more typical for Swedish and Eastern Karelian cave paintings.

These can be seen in the Hossa National Park.

There are only three figures in Julma-Ölkky’s cave painting. Two paintings resembling stick figures and one painting resembling a moose. It is suspected that the Värikallio and Julma-Ölkky cave paintings had the same painter due to their similarities.

Have the paintings been a description of an event, asking for luck in hunting, or is it about worship? We may never get an answer to these questions.