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Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga
Naming
Original Баба-яга
Romanization Baba-yaga
Personal information
Species Witch
Gender Female
Place of origin Russia
Current status Active
Biology
Body type Humanoid
Diet Carnivorous
Abilities Magic
Intelligence
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Behind the Scenes
Universe Real

Baba Yaga (sometimes referred to with the epithet Baba Yaga the Bony-legged) is a legendary old witch featured prominently in Slavic folklore. While her exact character varies from tale to tale, she's usually regarded as inhumanly old, powerful, wise and sinister, having a penchant for devouring children.

Biography

Baba Yaga is well-known for her iron teeth, for inhabiting a magical mobile hut with giant chicken legs, and flying on a giant magical mortar and pestle. Her hut is usually located deep in the forest, and surrounded by a fence decorated with lanterns made from human skulls. She may also have supernaturally-animated disembodied hands as servants, and be associated with a trio of supernatural knights - one dressed in white, one in red and one in black - who represent personifications of dawn, noon and night, respectively.

Interestingly, despite her murderous tendencies, she isn't always a villain, and has been known to provide helpful wisdom and guidance to protagonists in some stories. She may also give tasks and reward the characters who perform them successfully. At least some tales have attested the existence of multiple Baba Yagas, all sisters, all living in huts with chicken legs.

In popular culture

As a legendary figure, Baba Yaga is featured as either an antagonist or ally in numerous fairy tales, including "Vasilisa the Beautiful", "The Death of Koschei the Deathless", and the Russian version of "The Frog Princess".

She is also featured in the series Lost Girl; in animated films such as Bartok the Magnificent and Hayao Miyazaki's Pandane to Tamago Hime; and is a recurring enemy of Hellboy. In the Harry Potter franchise, she is regarded as a historical witch, and is featured in a Chocolate Frog Card.

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