Mielikki is the Finnish goddess of forests and the hunt. She is referred to in various tales as either the wife or the daughter-in-law of Tapio. She is said to have played a central role in the creation of the bear.
In the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic based on Karelian folklore, the hero Lemminkäinen offers her and Tapio prayers, gold and silver so he can catch the Hiisi elk. In another passage, Mielikki is asked to protect cattle grazing in the forest. In a country where the forest was central to providing food through hunting, gathering and cattle grazing, it was thought very important to stay on her good side.