Baba Yaga Bony-Leg
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Denis Bansal EAC150Gordon LesterOctober 5Baba Yaga bony-leg There are many different monsters in various cultures. In my opinion, one of the most interesting is Baba Yaga from Slavic folklore. In early years’ people used to stay together in groups, and depending on environment, they were dreaming up different fairytales. Nowadays, Baba Yaga is the most popular fictional character among post-soviet countries. There is a stereotype that Baba Yaga is a negative personage, but I strongly disagree and want to prove my point of view. So who is this monster? Basically word “baba” means “old woman” and Yaga is her name. She often appears in literature with a variety of typical attributes: a turning, chicken-legged hut, in which she lives, mortar, in which she flies, holding broom in her hands. Baba Yaga frequently bears the epithet “bony leg” (Baba Iaga kostianaia noga). Baba Yaga may sense and mention the “Russian scent” (russky dukh) of those that visit her. Mostly she is described as a very old and ugly woman. She has a very long nose and chin, all her face is covered with warts, she barely has teeth, her nails are so long, that she can’t squeeze her fist, she is very thin, has long grey hair and always wears a kerchief. First clear reference to Baba Yaga occurs in 1755 in Mikhail Lomonosov’s “Russian grammar”. Baba Yaga nowadays is considered as a mistress of the forest. She is the leader of animals and birds. According to legends, she is a conductor to the extramundane world. And the reason she has one bony-leg- is to stand in world of dead. Almost in all Slavic stories main hero, while travelling, gets into Baba Yaga’s house, and usually she wants to eat a hero. She is always trying to do some dirty tricks on good people, kidnap children or wants to grab over the world. But there is one fact that changes all the stories. Baba Yaga has dual nature, and deep inside she is kind young lady, who doesn’t want to harm anyone. That is the cause, which leads to the happy end. Clarissa Pinkola in her book “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, explains, that Baba Yaga is a good character, and represents “wild old mother”. In chapter 3 there is a tale about Baba Yaga and a young girl, Vasilisa, who came to ask for fire. In this tale firstly Baba Yaga looks like negative character, because she gives two options: either she eats mall girl, or girl does everything Baba Yaga asks for and gets fire. But while reading the story we realize that she is good and wants to help. As Baba Yaga has strong senses, she understands whether hero is real or not. She is testing Vasilisa giving her very difficult tasks, but when she sees that heroine coped, she gives everything Vasilisa asked for and lets her go. It means that if to behave respectfully, be kind, and do everything Baba Yaga asks for, she will not harm anyone and will reward you. Baba Yaga is very old and wise, so she knows if you do good or wrong things.
Baba Yaga Bony-Leg