Folktales | Characters
Baabaa Yaagaa is the most memorable famous character of Slavic or Eastern European or Russian fairy tales - several Eastern European cultural groups. They are three sisters with the same name. She is a supernatural being and is depicted as a deformed and ferocious looking old woman. She flies around in a mortar containing a pestle with a broom in her hand sweeping the way behind her.
Her hut is also famous and unique. It is in a deep forest standing usually on chicken legs. It is a doorless and windowless log cabin, built upon supports made from the stumps of two or three closely grown trees cut at the height of eight to ten feet. The stumps, with their spreading roots, give a good impression of "chicken legs." The only access into the cabin is via a trapdoor in the middle of the floor. But variations are available. Besides it always turns round and round, unless somebody asks it to stop.
In one Russian story, Marya Morevna, Baba Yaga is supposed to have a mare who carries her around the world every day.
In 1948, Russian two archaeologists discovered small huts of the described type with traces of corpse cremation and circular fences around them. The fence of her hut is decorated with human skulls whose eye holes shine with fire in the night.
She can help or hinder those who either encounter or seek her out and may play a maternal role. She is also associated with wildlife. Sometimes she frightens the hero or heroine of the story to eat him or her up but ends up with helping him or her if he or she is courageous. But in many fairy tales she kidnaps the children and eats them by toasting them in an oven.
In modern Russian language Baabaa means grandmother. Her name fist appeared in Russian grammar in 1755. Baabaa Yaagaa's name is used to scare children of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia etc countries. Several books are available on this figure.
1. Babayaga. by Toby Barlow. 2013
on November 27, 2013
Modified on 08/26/15