Question by jackie: What is the story of Baba Yaga?
I need to do a project on this legend but I don’t know the story, and when I googled it all that came up was wikipedia answers.
Answers and Views:
Answer by Angel
Hm I remember reading something about a Baba Yaga when I was little. I think there was this little boy in the forests, and he came across this small hut with all these weird people-looking twigs that hung from trees. There was a fat, old witch and she stole the boy… I think thats where the “dont wander off by yourself” comes from, or the “dont talk to strangers”. Hope this helps 🙂
Answer by Hungry Owl
She may be classified as a hag. The name seems to denote Baba Yaga as a frail old woman, with Baba, (Babushka)
meaning grandmother in Russian, and Yaga seeming to rhyme with “Bony leg”. She is often seen in Slavic mythology
and folklore aiding a hero in some endeavor via her magical prowess. She will keep any promise made with said hero,
but harsh punishment is exacted upon any who fail to keep their end of the bargain. She seems to follow a questionable
code of ethics when it comes to how she solves a problem. Unlike the usual portrayal of a witch/hag, Baba Yaga
is seen riding a mortar in place of a broom and wielding a pestal as a magical wand.
Points of interest
– Her witch hut is supported by giant chicken legs as beams and decorated by a giant chicken head on the top
– Using her giant stove, she will often cook and devour anyone who fails to accomplish a task she puts them to
– Much simularity to the antagonist of Hanzel and Gretel
– Much simularity to the godmother of Cinderella
– Had magical servants
Baba Yaga, as a powerful witch, had a host of magical servants and slaves. In the story, “Vasilisa the beautiful”, she has
three sets of seemingly detached hands that she is able to summon at will. They will do mundane tasks for her, such as grind
wheat or carry bins of poppy seeds away. They’re capable of appearing and dissapearing in a moment’s notice. In the story,
they’re referred to simply as “faithful servants”. There are three other servants mentioned in the story; Three cloaked riders
personifying the dawn, day, and night. Vasilisa encounters them on her way to Baba’s house, later inquiring about them.
“…on my way here I saw a white horseman. Who was he?”
“That was my Bright Day,” answered Baba-Yaga.
Vasilisa continued, “Then I saw a red horseman. Who was he?”
“That was my Red Sun,” answered Baba-Yaga.
“And then a black horseman overtook me whilst I was standing outside your gate. Who was he?”
“That was my Black Midnight,” answered Baba-Yaga. “These horsemen are my faithful servants.”
Photo Credit: shlyovich/Flickr
When Vasilisa was a young girl, she recieved a magical doll from her mother on her death bed. Her mother told her that,
upon feeding the doll food, it would guide her and help her. She was to take the doll everywhere she went and to never
show it to anybody. When Vasilisa traveled to Baba Yaga’s hut, she used it to accomplish the absurd tasks she had set
before her. Shortly after inquiring about Baba’s strange horsemen, she was asked how she had completed her tasks so swiftly.
Upon telling her that it was her mother’s blessing, she was kicked out of the hut and given a magic skull with which to
smite her family. Baba said that she will not have people with blessings in her home.
Conclusions to be drawn
– Baba Yaga is either afraid of or in contempt of blessings
– Baba Yaga’s servants come in sets of three
– The day, night, and dawn were all servants of Baba Yaga
– Baba Yaga had allot of magic witch mojo
Read all the answers in the comments. What do you think?