Friday, December 04, 2015

Baba Yaga.

Baba Yaga
by Viktor Vasnetsov, o/c, 1917.
One of the better known images in Russia.

The Guardian has a lovely piece about the witch Baba Yaga (Баба Яга, in Russian the stress in the last 'a' - yaGA) in Russian folk tales and a new illustrated edition of folk tales in English.

Here's an excerpt:

"Baba Yaga appears in many other Russian fairy tales. In The Magic Swan Geese, Baba Yaga sends her magic birds to steal a boy away from his sister. The proud sister scoffs at the river and the trees when they offer to help her find him, but when she finds out the evil fate that Baba Yaga plans for her brother, she might just change her mind…

But Baba Yaga is not always the villain in Russian folklore. In Go I Know Not Whither and Fetch I Know Not What, a wonderfully weird tale involving a bird princess, a magic ring, merchants, servants and quick trip to the Underworld, she transforms from Wicked Witch to Wise Woman, lending the hero a helping hand."

Read 'Baba Yaga, and the howlings of Russian pseudo-patriots.' (In Russian, but includes a charming Australian vlogger talking about her fascination with Baba Yaga and Russian folklore.)

Baba Yaga's theme from Mussorgsky's 'Pictures from an Exhibition' suite -

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