The witch of witches: Baba Yaga

Another area I’ve been researching for my book: Baba Yaga.  She’s fascinating.  In some stories she is the child-eating ogress, in some she is in charge of the world of the dead, or will show you the way to the world of the spirits, as long as you can prove that you are not intimidated by her.

There are many amazing images of her online.  These first two are on many websites, but so far I have not been able to find out where they are originally from.  Baba Yaga riding her pestle and mortar, sweeping up her tracks with a broom.


This one is by Rima Staines – see more of her wonderful images here.

Baa Yaga’s hut on chicken legs. According to some, it has no windows or doors, very like a coffin, and it has a palisade of human bones.  And you can also see her iron teeth:

And another Baba Yaga image, this one by Isabellart

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lunar Hine
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 16:39:54

    Very fond of Baba Yaga, although not at all confident I could prove myself to not be intimidated by her.

  2. mashadutoit
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 17:24:03

    I know! It would take stronger nerves than mine to get the better of her 🙂

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  4. Janelle
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 21:31:52

    Just stumbled upon your blog. An excellent interpretation and discussion of the Baba Yaga story can be found in the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. She actually deconstructs many fairytales from a unique and really intriguing perspective, particularly as they relate to women’s journeys towards self-realization and intuition.

  5. mashadutoit
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 07:55:35

    Hi Janelle 🙂 – I’ve seen that book around and it seemed intriguing. Now I have a reason to read it as well. That sounds like exactly my kind of thing. Thanks for the tip! Masha * *

  6. Harry Dewulf (@densewords)
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:38:34

    I’ve often thought that Baba Yaga must have been a real person, at least to start with. Her legend has that steadily built up quality that I associate with people who are later eclipsed by their own fictions. I once started a short story about a witch, partly inspired by Bilibin’s illustrations and partly inspired by PTerry, but stopped when I realized that BY was looking over my shoulder.

  7. mashadutoit
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:46:27

    Looking over your shoulder! Now I’ve got goosebumps 🙂 I agree, Baba Yaga seems so specific, she must once have been real. I get such a sense of presence from those stories.

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