The Finnish Puukko knife is an ancient style of knife. Finnish men traditionally made their own knives which were the most essential piece of equipment they carried. The word is derived from the Finnish "puukotta" which mean "to stab" or "knife." This is a 1000 year old design that comes from the indigenous Sami people and is used for skinning fish and game.
The Kalevala, known as the national saga of Finland, describes the mystical origins of the puukko as "bog iron" and emerging from a wolf and bear tracks. I great article on Puukkos can be found at alloutdoor.com. Modern puukkos made by companies like Kainuun Puukko, Mora of Sweden, and Helle use high performance steels and fancy wood, but retain the heritage of the nordic knife.
The puukko has been an important influence on me and many knifemakers. The bushcraft tradition of creating tools from what is readily available and the all-purpose utilitarian aspect of the puukko make it especially attractive. For me, as a person with Finnish heritage, they are especially attractive.