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Russia

Russian folktales have their several folktale characters -

Baba Yaga
But Baba Yaga 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, two Russian 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. Baba Yaga has been called everything from a murderous witch to an ambivalent guardian between the living and the dead. But what if she was simply an observant, skeptical elderly woman who was cast out of society for being different?

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
2. Babayaga. by Tai-Marc le Thanh and Rebecca Dautremer. 2004. 2009.
3. Babayaga. by Rebecca Dautremer and Tai-Marc le Thanh. 2005. 2008
4. Babayaga. by Rebecca Dautremer. 2013.
5. Baba-Yaga. by Anne Royer. 2013.
6. Baba Yaga Laid an Egg. an eBook. Kobo eBooks.

Koshchie, The Immortal
The next comes Koshchi - a helper of Baba Yaga. He is immortal but he has been killed in a tale Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf which is a very popular and classic Russian fairy tale

Firebird
Firebird is another Russian character appearing in its many folktales. In Slavic folklore, the Firebird burns with flames so bright that it lights up its surroundings even a single feather from the bird will stay alight with the same magic. Firebirds bring luck, but also doom. They are hunted and coveted, but they always bring more trouble in their wake than anyone had anticipated.

Vasilisa
Its another famous character is Vasilisa. Russian fairy tales depict Vasilisa as beautiful, brave, and fair. But what if terrible was a better description?

For the feature film, see Vasilisa the Beautiful (1940 film). For the animated film, see Vasilisa the Beautiful (1977 film).

 

 

 

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Created by Sushma Gupta on November 27, 2013
Contact: hindifolktales@gmail.com
Modified on 07/19/23