Baba Yaga

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(c) Thomas Denmark. All images remain the property of their creator.

Baba Yaga

History/Origin

  • Features in Russian folklore.

  • First mention of her seems to happen in 1755.

  • Said to be one of three sisters, all with the same name (creative parents)

  • Also known as Baba Yaga Kostianaya Nona (Baba Yaga Boney Legs). Also called the Bone Mother.

  • Often linked to another figure, Jezibaba.

  • The folktale is here

How do I recognise her?

  • A witch with iron teeth.

  • Said to travel on a large mortar and push herself along with her legs. Also said to travel on a throne made from the bones of children. She is also said to be able to fly.

  • She appears amongst howling winds and an entourage of screaming spirits.

Where will I find her?

  • Lives in a hut on the edge of a forest where it is bitterly cold. The hut can move itself to new locations on its chicken legs. The fence surrounding it is made from bones and atop it are skulls with glowing eyes.

  • It is said she guards the fountains of life and death.

How do I get her attention?

  • If you enter her hut she will enquire whether you are there of your own free will, or were sent. One answer is correct, but no one knows which one.

How do I escape?

  • In the stories those who escape do so by outwitting her or tricking her in some way.

General information

  • Said to travel on a throne made from the bones of children.
  • Amongst her many servants are three disembodied hands.
  • Although she has a fearsome reputation, there are stories of her being kind. She is often described as wise.
  • It is said she guards the fountains of life and death.
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2 thoughts on “Baba Yaga

  1. Great picture! According to one story I read, those are the skulls of her daughters, whom she killed by mistake for the young men who were supposed to marry them. She pushes the mortar along with the pestle and uses a broom to brush away her tracks. She must be Kostianaya NoGa, because noga is the Russian for leg. I think there’s an earlier reference to her in an Elizabethan book about a voyage to Russia.

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