baba_yaga Picture

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Baba-Yaga (Russian: Ба́ба-Яга́, IPA: [ˈbabə jɪˈɡa]) is a witch-like character in Slavic folklore. She flies around on a giant mortar or broomstick, kidnaps (and presumably eats) small children, and lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs. In most Slavic folk tales, she is portrayed as an antagonist; however, some characters in other mythological folk stories have been known to seek her out for her wisdom, and she has been known on rare occasions to offer guidance to lost souls.
In Russian tales, Baba Yaga is portrayed as a hag, who flies through the air in a mortar, using the pestle as a rudder and sweeping away the tracks behind her with a broom made of silver birch. She lives in a log cabin that either moves around on a pair of dancing chicken legs, is surrounded by a palisade with a skull on each pole, or both. The keyhole to her front door is a mouth filled with sharp teeth; the fence outside is made with human bones with skulls on top, often with one pole lacking its skull, leaving space for the hero or heroes. In another legend, the hut does not reveal the door until it is told a magical phrase: "Turn your back to the forest, your front to me".
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