Baba Yaga

Slavic folklore witch living in chicken legged house

Baba Yaga Slavic mythology

Baba Yaga, folklore creature living deep in Slavic forest.

She is often depicted as an old woman, flying on her mortar and pestle, sometimes with sharp iron teeth and long silver hair. Like most of Slavic folklore creatures Baba Yaga, altho very dangerous, sometimes would help the heroes. Baba Yaga lives in her chicken legged house surrounded by a fence of skulls. 

One of the most famous Baba Yaga stories is the one about Vasilisa the Beautiful. In this story Vasilisas stepmother sends her to fetch light for the candle from Baba Yaga.  Going through the forest she sees the riders. First the white rider came, then the red one.

Once she reached Baba Yaga's hut the black rider came that brought nightfall. The skulls on the fence around the house started to glow and Baba Yaga came on her mortar and pestle.

She told her she will give her the fire, if she does 3 tasks, if she fails Baba Yaga would kill her. She was required to do housework and to cook Baba Yaga a meal, but also to separate grains of rotten corn from sound corn, and separate poppy seeds from grains of soil.

To Baba Yaga's surprise Vasilisa with the help of a magical doll managed to perform all given tasks. As promised Baba Yaga gave her the fire and sent her home. But the light Baba Yaga gave her ultimately killed Vasilisas evil step family.  Vasilisa was free to live her life the way she wanted to. 

 

 

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