In the deep, dark forests of Russia, where danger lurks in the liminal spaces, you might just find the unusual abode of one of folklore’s most fascinating characters: the incomparable Baba Yaga. With her hooked nose, her bedraggled hair and her wrinkled skin, this hag of hags appears in her strange mode of transport, ready to aid or to hinder, depending on how much you keep your wits about you. With roots in the early Slavic pantheon of gods and goddesses, Baba Yaga has changed through the centuries, playing different roles for different listeners, and slowly crystallising into the ultimate fairy tale witch.
Arm yourself with your magic charms and keep your tongue sharp as we cross the threshold into the domain of talking creatures and mystical powers to stoke the fires and spin a tale or two of Baba Yaga.
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Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales. Intro & Trans by Forrester, Sibelan. University of Mississippi Press, 2013.
Johns, Andreas. Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folklore. Peter Lang, 2004.
Tatar, Maria. Off with Their Heads!: Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood. Princeton University Press, 1993.
Warner, Marina. No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock. Vintage Book, 2000.
Zipes, Jack. The Irresistible Fairy Tale. Princeton University Press, 2012.