Estonia: The Moon Painters

Estonian-born Selve Maas compiled a collection of stories from her native land called The Moon Painters and other Estonian Folk Tales. For my Estonian read,  I chose the title story which tells the tale of how the moon came to be.

The creator of the world, Vanaisa, was extremely pleased with his work except for the fact that there was nothing to light the night sky. He charged a famous smith to make something suitable and he did so,  creating the moon and stars. This made the devil, Vanapagan, very angry for he could not catch souls when the night was lit. So he and his helpers devised a plan to paint the moon black with tar. This ended up backfiring and Vanapagan found himself forever stuck to the moon with tar.

I find creation myths to be fascinating and I love this unique explanation for the “man on the moon”.


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