The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales
Publication Year: 2013
Baba Yaga is an ambiguous and fascinating figure. She appears in traditional Russian folktales as a monstrous and hungry cannibal, or as a canny inquisitor of the adolescent hero or heroine of the tale. In new translations and with an introduction by Sibelan Forrester, Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales is a selection of tales that draws from the famous collection of Aleksandr Afanas'ev, but also includes some tales from the lesser-known nineteenth-century collection of Ivan Khudiakov. This new collection includes beloved classics such as "Vasilisa the Beautiful" and "The Frog Princess," as well as a version of the tale that is the basis for the ballet "The Firebird."The preface and introduction place these tales in their traditional context with reference to Baba Yaga's continuing presence in today's culture--the witch appears iconically on tennis shoes, tee shirts, even tattoos. The stories are enriched with many wonderful illustrations of Baba Yaga, some old (traditional "lubok" woodcuts), some classical (the marvelous images from Victor Vasnetsov or Ivan Bilibin), and some quite recent or solicited specifically for this collection
Published by: University Press of Mississippi
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FOREWORD: Unfathomable Baba Yagas
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Folktale, the most thorough study of Baba Yaga to date, Andreas not thousands of folktales in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus since the eighteenth century, if not earlier. She is not just a dangerous witch but also a maternal benefactress, probably related to a pagan goddess. Many other Russian scholars such as Joanna Hubbs in Mother Russia: The ...
PREFACE, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, AND TRANSLATOR’S NOTE
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Yaga and want to present her here in all her richness and complexity.This book is meant for many kinds of readers. Those with a Russian background will find familiar tales, an introduction that presents a variety of ways to understand Baba Yaga, images from a variety of sources, and some recommendations for further reading. Specialists in Russian culture ...
INTRODUCTION: Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East
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...even more images; the tales are from Russia, while the illustra-tions come both from Russia and from the wider world. Our introduction is meant to put Baba Yaga in context and perhaps to answer questions that arise during or after reading. We hope this collection will appeal to many kinds of readers, whether they have a special personal or scholarly interest ...
BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR FURTHER READING
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Afanas’ev, Aleksandr, ed. Russian Fairy Tales. Trans. Norbert Guterman. New York: Pantheon Books, 1943, 1973. A selection of tales from Afanas’ev’s three-volume edition.Balina, Marina, Helena Goscilo, and Mark Lipovetsky, eds. and trans. Politicizing Magic: An Anthology of Russian and Soviet Folktales. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2005. This volume includes some more recent folktale-related stories, and the ...
Tales of Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga by Rima Staines, the young British painter, clockmaker, illustrator, and storyteller, who here clearly models her style on those of such classic Russian illustrators as Vasnetsov and Bilibin. Her creative violation of proportions, however, transforms Baba Yaga into a fi gure physically dominating the landscape, and her hut into an enlarged chicken-legged mailbox. http://www.intothehermitage.blogspot.com/....
“Baba Yaga I”
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...little house standing on chicken legs. Then the man said, “Little house, little house, stand with your back to the woods and your front to me.” The house The man went into the house, and there inside was Baba Yaga, head fac-ing straight ahead, one leg in one corner, one leg in the other. “There’s a smell The man bowed to her and said, “Baba Yaga, bony leg! I’ve brought my ...
“Baba Yaga II”
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The girl wasn’t stupid, so she stopped by to see her own aunt first. “Mother’s sent me to her sister to ask for a needle and thread to sew a The aunt told her what to do. “My dear niece, a birch tree there will whip you in the eyes—you tie it back with a ribbon. The gate there will squeak and slam—you pour some oil under its hinges. The dogs there will ...
“Baba Yaga and the Kid”
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The tomcat and the sparrow left, and the kid climbed up on the stove and sat behind the stovepipe. Suddenly a Baba Yaga appeared, picked up the spoons, and started counting: “This is the tomcat’s spoon, this is the spar-The kid couldn’t bear it, and he shouted, “Baba-yaga, don’t you touch Baba Yaga grabbed the kid, got into her mortar, and rode oﬀ. She rode ...
“Baba-Yaga and the Runt”
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The old man went back to the village. There were forty-one households in their village, so he went around all of them, took an egg from each, and Two weeks passed. The old man took a look, the old woman took a look, too, and they saw that the eggs had hatched out a lot of boys. There were forty strong, healthy ones, but one hadn’t turned out so well—he was ...
“Finist the Bright Falcon II”
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The father laughed at the youngest daughter. “And what, silly little thing, do you need a little scarlet flower for? A great lot of good it would do you. Only, no matter what he said, he couldn’t persuade her at all. “Buy a The old man set oﬀ for the market. He bought his eldest daughter a dress and the middle one a shawl kerchief, but he couldn’t find a little scarlet ...
“Go I Don’t Know Where, Bring I Don’t Know What”
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...provide the ruler’s table with game. A fine young musketeer by for shooting game: it was almost as if he never missed, and for in the morning, at the crack of dawn. He walked into a dark thick forest and saw a mourning dove sitting on a tree.17 Fedot brought up his weapon, aimed, fired, and broke the bird’s wing. The bird fell from the branch to the ...
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Ivanushka heard that it wasn’t his mother’s voice, and he didn’t sail over to her. Then the Baba Yaga ran to the smithy. “Blacksmith, blacksmith! Forge me a voice like Ivanushka’s mother’s!” So he forged her a voice, and she ran down to the bank. “Ivanushka! Sail over to me, I’ve brought you something to eat and drink!” He heard his mother’s voice and sailed over. Baba Yaga ...
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...to stroll with his sisters in the green garden. Suddenly a black cloud came over them, and a horrible thunderstorm arose. “Let’s go home, The moment they went into the palace, it was as if thunder struck: the ceiling opened, and a bright falcon flew into their room. The falcon struck against the floor, turned into a handsome young man, and said, “Hello, ...
“Moon and Star”
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In a certain kingdom, in a certain state there lived a tsar, and he a child for consolation. After a certain time the tsar’s wife grew was! They hired all kinds of courtiers to teach her . . . After a certain time the tsar’s wife grew heavy again, and everyone daughter, and they gave her the name Star.37 And what beauties they both ...
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It’ll make him rich and quick on the uptake, if only he never takes it oﬀ and The old woman believed her and was happy. As she was dying, she or-Time passed, and her son was growing up. He came of age and started to look for a bride. One pleased him, another caught his eye, but when they tried on the ring it was either too small or too big. It didn’t fit one or the ...
“Prince Ivan and Beloy Polyanin”
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In a certain kingdom, in a certain state there once lived a tsar. his sisters and asked, “My dearest sisters, what can I do? All the “Oh, such a brave warrior! What are you frightened of? How is it that Beloy Polyanin42 makes war against Baba Yaga, golden leg? For thirty years he hasn’t dismounted from his horse, and he knows no rest. But you’re ...
“The Bear Tsar”
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...“Give me the thing you have at home that you don’t know. Then I’ll let go.”“What would I not know at home?” thought the tsar. “It seems I know “I don’t need even two herds. Give me the thing in your house that you The tsar agreed, freed his beard, and rode home. He walked into his palace, and his wife had just given birth to twins: Prince Ivan and Princess ...
“The Bogatyrs Soska, Usynia, Gorynia, and Duginia”
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...filled with smoke. Suddenly the old woman heard what seemed like the pine block on the stove shouting, “Mother, it’s smoky! Mother, it’s smoky!”She said a prayer, went over to the stove and picked up the block, took a look, and—what marvel was this? The block of wood had turned into a little boy. The old woman rejoiced, “God has given me a little son!” And that boy ...
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...came up. The sand and dust rose up in a cloud, and the child was torn out of the nanny’s arms and carried oﬀ to who knows where. They looked and looked for him in the garden, but they couldn’t find him. They cried a bit, then went and told their mother that their little brother had disappeared.The mother sent the oldest daughter to look for him. She went out into ...
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...selves. Then she went back, and she took the wool to her mother-in-law.Then the mother-in-law sent her to milk the cows. But she didn’t have cows, she had wolves. She sat down on an oak and called, “Bossies and brownies! Come milk yourselves!” They came and they milked themselves. Then the mother-in-law sent her to see her sister, who was a witch, to ...
“The Enchanted Princess”
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He rode for a day, a second, and a third. Soon a whole week had passed, and a second week, and a third. The soldier didn’t have enough money. He had no way to feed himself or his horse, and his home was still far, far away! Things looked very bad for him. He wanted very much to get something to eat. He started to look around, and he saw a great castle oﬀ to one side. ...
“The Feather of Finist the Bright Falcon”
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...“And what for you, my beloved daughter?” he asked the youngest.The father said good-bye to them and left for the city. He bought ma-terial for dresses for the older daughters, but he couldn’t find a feather of He returned home and made the eldest and middle daughter glad with the new clothes. “But I didn’t find a feather of Finist the bright falcon for ...
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In a certain kingdom, but not in our country, there lived a tsar. missing. So he called his sons together and said, “My dearest children! If you love me, then stand guard and catch this thief. If one of you catches this thief, I’ll give that one half the kingdom.”On the first night the eldest brother went out. He sat until twelve ...
“The Frog and the Bogatyr”
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In a certain kingdom, in a certain state there lived a king who “Dear children! Now you’re of age, it’s time for you to think secluded meadows, and shoot in diﬀerent directions. Each one’s arrow will land by a house, and the one who shot the arrow will ed meadows, and took his shot. The eldest brother shot to the right, the ...
“The Frog Princess”
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In a certain kingdom, in a certain state there lived a tsar with brave men that it’s not possible to tell it in a tale or write it The eldest brother shot his arrow, and it fell in the yard of a boyar, just outside the maidens’ chambers.65 The middle son shot; his arrow flew into a merchant’s yard and landed by the main porch, and on that porch stood a ...
“The Geese and Swans”
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...der the window, and she herself ran out onto the street and lost track of the time, playing and running around. The geese and swans flew over, grabbed The girl came back and looked, and her brother wasn’t there! She gasped and ran here and there, but he wasn’t anywhere! She called, she sobbed, she lamented—she was going to be in trouble with her father and mother—but ...
“The Stepdaughter and the Stepmother’s Daughter”
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The girl went to the river and laid the thread on the water. The thread floated along the river, and she walked slowly along the bank after it. The She went into the forest and saw a little house on chicken legs. She said, “Little house, little house! Stand with your back to the woods, your The stepdaughter went into it and saw a Yaga-Baba. Her head lay in ...
“The Tale of the Daring Young Man and the Apples of Youth”
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...stay alive. The eldest prince set oﬀ to the right, the middle one to the left, and the youngest went straight ahead.72 For a long time, for a short time, the youngest brother rode, and he came upon a deep ditch. He didn’t think long about how to cross it. He blessed himself, whipped his horse, jumped across to the other side, and saw a little house beside a deep forest—it stood on ...
“The Tale of the Fine Young Man and the Apples of Youth”
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...thundering on the mountain. The first son rode up only one third of the mountain and came back. He went to his father and said, “My lord father! I rode as you ordered, but I could barely get a third of the way up the moun-tain.” After some time the tsar sent oﬀ his middle son, who rode halfway up the mountain but could do no more and turned back. Then the tsar sent his ...
“The Tale of the Fine Young Man and the Apples of Youth II”
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...headed to the right and came to a house. He went into the house, and there a maiden said to him, “Prince Fyodor! Come sleep with me.” He lay down, and she up and shoved him into who knows where. The tsar didn’t wait for him long but sent out his second son. This one set oﬀ and came to the same place. He went into the house. The maiden took care of this one as well. The ...
“The Three Kingdoms”
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God!—grabbed the tsar’s wife and carried her oﬀ, no one knew know what to do. The tsar’s sons grew up, and he said to them, “My dear children! Who among you will go to seek and find your mother?”The two older sons got together and set out, and after that the youngest began to ask his father to go. “No,” said the tsar, “don’t you go away, my son! ...
“The Three Kingdoms—Copper, Silver, and Gold”
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Then on the road he met a dragon with three heads. He was frightened, but the dragon said to him, “Where are you headed, good man?”Egorushko said, “I’ve set out to find a wife, but I can’t find myself a bride.”The dragon said, “Come with me. I’ll show you how to find a bride.”So they walked and walked, and they came up to a big boulder. The ...
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...on a little raft to fish. Suddenly they saw thirty ships sailing toward them. The Tsar-Maiden was on one of those ships with thirty other maidens, her foster sisters. When the ships reached the little raft, all thirty ships dropped anchor. They invited Ivan the merchant’s son and his tutor onto the very best ship. There the Tsar-Maiden and the thirty maidens, ...
“Vasilisa the Beautiful”
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I’m dying, and along with my parental blessing I leave you this doll here. Always keep her with you and don’t show her to anyone; if ever some grief happens to you, give her something to eat and ask her advice. She will eat and tell you what to do to help in your misfortune.” Then the mother kissed After his wife’s death the merchant grieved for a while, as is proper, and ...
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013