Talk:Baba Yaga

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Has anyone suggested that "Yaga" ≈ "she who devours"?[edit]

After reading the main article and the discussions below, I did a little googling and found that in Polish, jeść means "to eat" and jedzą is "they eat." Of the Slavic languages, I'm only familiar with Russian, so I really have no idea whether the Polish jeść would be a plausible etymological source for the name Jaga. In Russian, "to eat" is есть (yest) and "they eat" is едят (yedyat) -- but there are no forms that look like yeg, with a hard "g" sound as in "Yaga." But I suppose that things could be different in other Slavic languages. Throbert McGee (talk) 23:24, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Deleted edits?[edit]

I do not understand why my recent edits about Baba Yaga's roots in Slavic mythology have been promptly deleted. These are well documented in virtually every serious Russian-language work on pre-Christian Russia, and these theories are supported both by archeological and folkloristic research. I'm especially dumbfounded as these changes came from a user who appears to have little to no background in the subject. The current article is little beyond a word for word translation of the first Russian-language web search for 'Baba Yaga' - which happens to be the most amateurish and poorly written article even on the first page of search results. (by, who is User:Luthier now. Mikkalai 05:50, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC))

Below is the piece in question, false from top to bottom. She is always described as having a 'bone leg', i.e. one leg having decomposed to the point where all flesh is lost. Her traditional dwelling almost perfectly describes a classic pre-Christian Slavic burial, which looked like a small house on top of a tree stump. In all the fairy tales she also invariably attemps to devour the hero. All combined, she could be understood as at some point being a cannibalistic corpse that inhabits her crypt. Some of the apparently more ancient tales appear to hint at related rituals, with her being calmed by food offerings or incantations.

  • She is always described as having a 'bone leg'
    • Only in Russian, and not always and because of the rhyme: "Baba Yaga — kostyanaya noga".
  • one leg having decomposed to the point where all flesh is lost.
    • Speculations. Some records mention wooden or silver leg. Could be simply a prop or an artificial limb. Also, "bone leg" is a folk term for the result of poliomyelitis: flesh atrophy. Ever seen? I did.
  • Her traditional dwelling almost perfectly describes a classic pre-Christian Slavic burial, which looked like a small house on top of a tree stump.
    • False. I will write into the article what "a hut on chicken legs" is: a kind of "labaz". Was pretty common in Siberia among uralic(finno-ugric) and tungusic peoples. Looks exactly as the name hints.
  • In all the fairy tales she also invariably attemps to devour the hero.
    • False.
  • All combined, she could be understood as at some point being a cannibalistic corpse that inhabits her crypt.
    • Combined falsehoods lead to horror movie.
  • Some of the apparently more ancient tales appear to hint at related rituals, with her being calmed by food offerings or incantations
    • Yeah? Which ones are that?

After the collapse of the Soviet Union a huge amount of bullshit may be found on internet about supposedly "ancient Russian mythology". Any speculations without references to recorded folklore will be mercilessly deleted. Mikkalai 05:50, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Baba Yaga in the Hungarian folklore?[edit]

Thou I am Hungarian I never heard of Baba Yaga being part of the Hungarian folklore. So the sentence that according to it she was once a fairy who later became a witch sounds noncence to me. Still, I might be undereducated in spesific areas and naturally I can't know all Hungarian fairy tales, so I would like to see references to this statement. Can anyone provide it? Thanks! - Serinde 17:06, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I cannot imagine that you never heard of this character. Baba Yaga in Hungarian is, as the article states, Vasorrù bàba. Her hut does not stand on chicken legs, but supported by (a) duck leg. (Kacsalàb) The image conveyed is that it stands on one leg only, but this may be the a consequence of the grammar of the Hungarian language. Similarly to the Slavic versions, the hut turns, sometimes at high speeds. When you are finally on the inside, you are surprized that the little hut is much larger on the inside than on the outside. (talk) 21:48, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Eating people[edit]

Although I don't know about the above claims of her 'invariably trying to devour the hero' and so forth at the top of this talk page, many of the stories I've seen her in have brought up her reputation for eating children, particularly bad ones, and in many tales (such as Vasilisa the Beautiful) she threatens to eat those who don't meet her requests. Perhaps this should be mentioned somewhere in the article? --Aquillion 18:10, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

The key word here is "invariably". In quite a few fairy tales she actually helps the hero out. `'mikka (t) 00:20, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Cabin on Chicken Legs[edit]

That's not actually vandalism--it clearly is a good faith attempt to improve the article. However, with no sources, it would seem to be original research. Nareek 06:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

If no has heretofore pointed out the similarity between Uralic cabin-building techniques and Baba Yaga's chicken-legged hut, then this is exactly the sort of thing prohibited by the no original research rule. It's clever, but it's not what WP is for. Nareek 18:11, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

It is not original research. It is from Russian sources. I don't have this rich fantasy to invent such ingenious explanation in the area (or ethnography and folklore) where I don't have neither expertise nor hobby. (As you may see, this article is so low on my radar that I notice your reversals only twice a year :-) I simply stumbled upon an interesting fact while reading and added it. It was added long time ago when requests for quotations was not so stringent, and unfortunately I did not record sources. Deletion of such a big piece added by a reputable author which was never accused of original research during his over 50,000 edits is simply a disrespect. I will try to find the source again. `'mikka (t) 05:57, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The edit has nothing to do with your personal credibility, so no personal disrespect is implied. Wikipedia is not and cannot be based on the credibility of individual editors. Nareek 10:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Neither it cannot depend on ignorance on individual editors. Are you expert in Russian ethnography and mythology that you can be say it is outright bullshit and must be deleted on sight? I wrote I will try to find the source. Have patience. You may demand references, but there are less drastic ways to do so rather than deleting huge pieces. And you seem to know them. `'mikka (t) 16:05, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I clearly as a child remember this being referenced and have been told this in Ukraine on more then one occasion. I think many would agree.-- (talk) 10:27, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

You desperately need somebody who speaks Russian. These legs are not "chiken" (куриные) they are "burned, roasted" (курьи) to prevent wood from rotting in water. Really, people, you should study the subject before writing about it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

  • You have him. I'm a Russian and I say: it's you who really need some study in subject, both the Russian language and Russian folklore. The legs are chicken all the way. Курьи (Kuryi) in Russian stands for, literally, "hen's", and the legs were depicted as bird's by many generations of fairy-tale painters. Your misconception about this word is probably because of Russian "курить" (kurit), but it stands for "to smoke", never for "burn" or "roast". And your hypothesis that the real-world piles were water-proof has its right, but for Wikipedia it would be an original research. --Garret Beaumain (talk) 16:53, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

The connection of the chicken-legged house to the peculiar burial house of the dead is a very convincing one. See the illustrations on the russian page. In many of the tales she facilitates the passage to the underworld, the "third-ninth kingdom" in russian. Also, at the top of the article we should say that basically Baba Yaga is a witch. What we have now is "ferocious-looking woman" . Is this just pc speak for "witch"? Also, there is a very stable reference in Russian to her using the pestle to steer her mortar when she flies, but also to cover her tracks by sweeping behind her with a broom. This is a nice detail, we should mention this. Kotika98 (talk) 06:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)


some discussion on where such legends come from might be good. I stumbled across this link: but I'm not nearly knowledgable enough to guess if it's accurate.

This link has no indication of authorship and has the following disclaimer in very fine print at the bottom: "...The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC..." Therefore it cannot be a valid reference. At best it may give some clues for further research. `'mikka (t) 05:50, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
ok, but so it may simply be one theory, and not an accurate one at that... however do archeologists/anthropologists have any idea where the concepts came from aside from an etemology of the name?Darker Dreams 17:49, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Yaga and Roga may not be equivalents[edit]

The equivalence of Baba Yaga - Baba Roga is doubtful. Please, find some reference to substantiate this. Roga is an old form of village punishment in Serbia (I think it has to do with humiliating someone by putting him in place of an ox). --Jaksap 03:02, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Baba Roga and Baba Yaga are versions of witches, but their description and legends about them differ. "Roga" in Baba Roga indicates that she has horns. Not so for Baba Yaga. Jaksap 03:44, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Roga means "horns", but does it really mean she has horns? Perhaps there was another meaning in the old slavic language which we don't recognize. Horns don't make sense, Russian Baba Yaga doesn't have them according to the mythology, Yaga doesn't mean horns, etc. Citation is needed, otherwise this conclusion should be deleted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Babka Yozhka?[edit]

Does anyone know who/what "Бабка Ёжка" is? I can't seem to find any information. Esn 11:17, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

It is derived from "Baba Yaga" by adding the belittling suffix "k" to both words. It has no real meaning in any context, but can be used as a nonsense word (I do vaguely remember some verse/song in which the plural form of "Бабка Ёжка" was used, but that wasn't very high quality stuff). It doesn't just mean "little Baba Yaga", since the very concept is of an old hag. There *is* a pretty good book called "Little Baba Yaga", but it uses the proper three words, not any suffixes. So, imagine if you will a chibi version of Baba Yaga - that's what "Бабка Ёжка" is, and it makes about as much sense. Maurog 21:07, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, "Бабка Ёжка" (Babka Yozhka) is the name of a Russian cartoon character loosely based on Baba Yaga -- the difference being that the cartoon witch is friendly and non-scary, just as Cookie Monster on Sesame Street is not monstrous. (But the cartoon witch Babka Yozhka is neither a young version of Baba Yaga nor an extra-small version; she's just kind-hearted, and that's one of the very common functions of so-called "diminutive" endings like -ka -- to indicate "nice and lovable," rather than "small.")
By the way, the word ёж (yozh) means hedgehog, and hedgehogs are typically thought of as harmless and cuddly, even if their spines may look slightly dangerous. So "Yozhka" is actually a rather clever pun on "Yaga," and a good English translation for Бабка Ёжка would be "Little Ol' Lady Hedgehoggella." But note, however, that a female hedgehog is ёжиха (yozhiha), an especially cute and small one is ёжик (yozhik), and a newborn baby hedgehog is ежонок (yezhonok) -- in other words, Yozhka is not a "real" diminutive in Russian. Throbert McGee (talk) 23:51, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • You're wrong. There's no different character. Maurog said it right: it is a diminitive form. Garret Beaumain (talk) 00:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Here's a suggestion: Try doing a Google Image search on Бабка Ёжка мультфильм, and then get back to us. A second suggestion: try doing Google searches before posting ridiculous comments, as a general habit. Throbert McGee (talk) 00:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Ridiculous is your comment. Babka Yozhka is a diminitive from Baba Yaga, hence is the name of cartoon. It is not a "different character", it is the same Baba Yaga when referred in cartoon's tittle.Garret Beaumain (talk) 17:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
You obviously haven't seen this animation movie. I had. Бабка Ёжка is a different character. Though you are both kinda wrong. The 'friendly and non-scary witch' is still called Баба Яга there. Бабка Ёжка is another character, small girl. She is called so only because Баба Яга took up on raising her as a child due to some events described in the beginning of the story. You can see those characters here, btw: Sadly, the site is partially broken, details for some characters (including Бабка Ёжка) are not showing up.
Also, Баба Яга is sometimes called Бабка Ёжка, as in one of the Летучий корабль animation movie's songs, for better rhyming and comedy. I don't recall her being called that in any old fairy tale, though.-- (talk) 12:38, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Ohmy. This talk page is hillarious indeed. People discuss if adding a diminitive suffix makes BY a different character. Like, if you name Puck "Robin Goodfellow", he's no longer Puck, Wodan is not Odin and Jahweh is completely different from Jehowah.--Garret Beaumain (talk) 08:02, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

On etymology, to consider[edit]

  1. Jaga:Jadzia—Polish
  2. Baba Jaga—Polish
  3. ęga—Proto-Slavic
  4. jęk—Polish [could well be jęg in Old Polish; compare nękać:nędza, łąki:łęgi] ("cry"), inca ("dolor")—Old English, ekki ("sorrow")—Norse; ("cry-dolor-sorrow")
  5. [jęg]:jędza ("nasty woman")—Polish

Possible meaning: Baba Jędza, i.e. "nasty granny", rather than Baba Jadzia—"granny Hedwig."

Reaffirming the Vasmer's proposal?

6birc, 00:56, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

IMO all these etymologies are too far-stretched and fail the Occam's Razor test. In Polish language it is simply a contraction of the female name: Jadwiga - Jadzia, Wisia, Iga, Jaga, Jagusia, Jagna, Jagienka. So nothing unusual that some jedza was "babcia Jaga". Now, wait, isn't it what the article says? `'юзырь:mikka 01:39, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

BTW Vasmer proposed nothing. In his book he puts all this dolor and sorrow into "further etymology" section of the article about the word, i.e., further possible connections (derived from possible common root) rather than roots themselves. This was some educated guesswork, rather than established knowledge. Not to say it was written 100 years ago. `'юзырь:mikka 02:03, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Jadwiga—an unconvincing etymology, for three reasons[edit]

The theory of a diminutive for Jadwiga is unconvincing if the figure and name of Baba Jaga are ancient ones. This is because, contrary to the discussed Wikipedia article, (a) the name Jadwiga is German, not Slavic, even if used in Poland since the Middle Ages—purely due to Polish-German liaisons and not even apparently expanding to other Slavic populations. Therefore, and also for the two other reasons—namely (b) the Vasmer's suggestive remark and my own realisation of (c) the existence of the nearly synonymous (to Baba Jaga) word jędza in Polish, so strikingly well fitting the forementioned suggestion—I would favour the latter for the etymology of Baba Yaga.

Still, I keep in mind that Wikipedia is no place for one's own original research or, even less, for enforcing one's intuitions (subjective sensations, "feelings"—of truth) on others. This is why I only made a loose suggestion, so that someone else maybe finds a more formal case to represent (or disprove) my intuition.

Are there, on the other hand, any reliable sources claiming Jadwiga as the etymology mentioned here on Wikipedia and making it more authoritative than the one preferred by me? I must admit that I haven't scrutinised the article this far yet.

6birc, 07:32, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

P.S. However, Jaga could've existed as a name in Polish long before Jadwiga came into fashion. In this sense, this could be a "fake diminutive" (consider folk etymology) of the German name Jadwiga and, as such, a genuinely Slavic etymology for Baba Jaga.

"the name Jadwiga is German, not Slavic," what an occult nonsense... Did you germans even preserve any of the stories about Yaga Baba comparing to ALL Slavic nations and their mythologies?

Connection between Baba Yaga and Ala[edit]

A creature that has a much deeper connection with Baba Yaga than Baba Roga among South Slavs is Ala. Although by some of her properties Ala could simply be a female dragon, in some Serbian folk tales she is strikingly similar to Baba Yaga, which is analized in this article (in Serbian) of a prominent Serbian ethnologist and linguist.

As for the "Jadwiga etymology", if that name is of a Germanic origin as it seems to be, than it is probably the least reasonable etymology of all proposed. It's strange that it is so kept in this article. VVVladimir 18:46, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

It remains to be proven that the fairy tales of Baba Yaga are older than Germanic peoples. `'Miikka 21:45, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's not the point here at all (you were probably kidding a little). If 'Yaga' comes from the Germanic name 'Jadwiga', then it would mean that the Russian people adopted those fairy tales from the Polish in the Middle Ages, since that name was adopted by Poles then, but not by Russians. Or otherwise, it would mean some ancient Slavic adoption from Germanic. In both cases, that is something that needs to be proven.

In fact, what Baba Yaga represents could be very, very old - even older than Germanic or some other peoples. VVVladimir 15:29, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Bartok Baba Yaga.JPG[edit]

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Image:Bartok Baba Yaga.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 06:45, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Baba Yaga is also the primary antagonist in Orson Scott Card's "Enchantment". I don't have time to make edits at the moment, but I hope to add that in in the near future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Deleted edits[edit]

To whomever deleted mine and everyone else's entries, to hell with etiquitte - You suck!! The beauty of wikipedia is that it gives users the opportunity to create a comprehensive (if somewhat imperfect) resource. My entry about her appearnace in X-men (Marvel Universe) is every bit as relevant as her appearing in Sandman (DC Universe). What gives you the right to delete relevant entries in such a broadhanded way? To do so goes against the spirit of the site, and in my mind the very spirit of the internet itself. BOO to you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Papayaga (talkcontribs) 21:14, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Please provide reputable references which discuss the appearance of BabaYaga, i.e., this appearance was notable enough to be discussed. We don't list all movies where people lunch in the "Lunch" article, do we? `'Míkka>t 02:14, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Again who deems you important enough to decide what is a "reputable reference" and what isn't. I stand by what I said. You guys are on a power trip. If this kind of wholesale editing continues, I predict that wikipedia will not be the definitive online encyclopedia for too much longer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

All of Wikipedia's contents are licensed under the GFDL. If you don't like our content policies, I encourage you to copy all of our content (with Wikipedia's blessing!) and start your own encyclopedia with different content policies. Regards, Nandesuka (talk) 01:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Chicken leg[edit]

Someone wrote that the story element of the house on chicken legs "may be" an interpretation of certain Sami styles of houses. Has there been any noteworthy discussion of this possibility, or is this just the pet theory of the original person who edited that section of the article? Until this is cleared up (either by citing a reputable source or deleting the offending speculation), I've put up an original research warning. -Branddobbe (talk) 09:45, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


I have seen several films featuring Baba Yaga that Ruscico has released on DVD. These are not dubbed in English, and "Yaga" is clearly and consistently pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, rather than on the first.--Scottandrewhutchins (talk) 21:04, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Added pronunciation in English and Russian, with references. --Thnidu (talk) 15:47, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

The stress in Yaga[edit]

It would be helpful tell on what syllable the stress falls in various languages. For Bulgarian the stress in Yaga (i.e. Яга) falls on the first syllable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Added pronunciation in English and Russian, with references. --Thnidu (talk) 15:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

A. Aliverdiev's tale "Creek" ("Lukomorie")[edit]

I can't seem to find any information on the author A. Aliverdiev or any story titled "Creek" or "Lukomorie". Google searches for "Aliverdiev Lukomorie" just turn up the exact phrase from the article. The author does not show up on Amazon, Project Gutenberg, or any libraries I checked. There is no indication if the novel/poem/whatever is modern or ancient. I think more info is needed if it is going to be included in the article as the first time "the childhood and youth of Baba Yaga were described". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:59, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I also would like to know where this story is! — Preceding unsigned comment added by RebecRoss (talkcontribs) 15:30, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

There is this page Aliverdiev telling about his book, which grew out of a shorter story he wrote about the youth years of Baba Yaga. He seems to be very proud of having been first ever man to have this wonderful idea of reimagining her youth, LOL. Kotika98 (talk) 06:55, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

There are a lot publications of this story in Russian (first one seems to be in Russian SF journal “Zvezdnaya doroga” (“Star road”), #12, 2000) and references in Internet (in Russian). Full text is accessible in . Author dates his novel by 1996. There are no denial that it is not the first one "the childhood and youth of Baba Yaga were described". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:B08:7:0:21F:29FF:FED0:ACB (talk) 07:58, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

To Bloodfox[edit]

You don't seem to be familiar wiith the topic, if you start article with claiming that Baba Yaga is "one of three sisters". She's not a pop-cultural Wiccan goddess. Also, you should not delete the text altogether. There is a a lot of sourced material.Garret Beaumain (talk) 18:05, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Ouch! How embarrassing; I'm afraid that if you were familiar with the folklore record on the topic, you'd be well aware that Baba Yaga(s) indeed appear(s) as a trio of three sisters, which is discussed in the academic source employed. And, yes, poor articles are to be rewritten. The sources deleted were either non-academic or inappropriately employed. Large sections had no sources whatsoever. If you have something to bring to the table, then you're welcome to do so, but please don't get in the way of those of us working to bring an abysmal article up to Good Articles standards. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:30, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Please not remove referenced and other undisputed text without discussing reasonable objections. Please don't write a whole article basing on a single book. - Altenmann >t 03:27, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

  •  :Bloodofox, she never appeared as a trio, it's a modern invention, an attempt to tie her up to Neopagan Triple Goddess. You should also mind your stile. Your lenghty "a supernatural being who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman" is described by the single English word hag.Garret Beaumain (talk) 08:38, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Altenmann: Unreferenced material and poorly referenced material is to be removed on sight by those of us who care enough to do so. See WP:PROVEIT and you may also want to take a look at WP:OR. Do not restore unreferenced or poorly referenced material; adding half-understood hearsay does not improve an article. The source I'm building this article on is the current standard scholarly work on the subject in the English language and is easily available. Other sources will be employed, but only scholarly sources are acceptable. Further, you've restored entirely misleading material. For example, Johns treats Ježibaba as a notably different figure stemming from a common linguistic origin. The etymology section you keep restoring just slaps together any figure that has a similarity. No surprise with that in mind, it's poorly reference. In fact, what you've reverted the article to and "restored" is mainly a lump of mish-mashed "I found it on the internet" confusion, dead links, and links to primary sources on websites. This isn't helpful and does not a quality article make. You're welcome to contribute, but if you want to work to improve the quality of this article, those contributions need to stay in the realm of well-referenced material from explicit, transparent scholarly sources.
Garret: No, in scholarship "hag" is not clear and has a variety of meanings, especially when witchcraft is involved and historical linguistics come into play. A hag can be simply a mean old woman with nothing supernatural about her, a witch, and/or a potential echo of Old English paganism. As for the triple goddess thing, you're just jamming your foot further down your throat; get familiar with the folklore record. There wasn't much going on in terms of triple goddess neopaganism in the 19th century, for example. See recent additions and then kindly stop wasting my time about it. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:09, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Bloodofox, your attention to this long-time neglected page is commendable. However massive deletion of text must be explained in talk page. So far I am satisfied with your explanations. As for poorly sourced material, the proper approach is no to "remove on sight" but to tag with "citation needed", to give people a chance, unless you can immediately prove it is wrong. - Altenmann >t 01:50, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate the compliment, but I have no idea why you're deleting the scholarly sourced material on baba. The source goes into great detail on this subject and it is quite significant. Please refrain from removing this material; the "grandmother" is not entirely transparent and numerous theories have been built upon it as I've noted. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:05, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Please provide explanation how thyeroy about "mushroom" is related to baba yaga. - Altenmann >t 02:14, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Additionally I note that this article had at least a few citation tags and had two general problem tags in place since October. Regardless, as I point out above, unreferenced material can be removed at any time by anyone; it has nothing to vouch for it and additions require references. Removing this material makes it much easier to rewrite articles, and this one sorely needed it. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Please refrest your knowledge about wikipedia policy on verifiability. - Altenmann >t 02:14, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Please do not revert other people edits without finishing discussion. You do not own the page. By making yor work easier you dont have to make other people work harder. - Altenmann >t 02:16, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Neither of us own the page. You are required to provide citations for unsourced material before restoring it (WP:PROVEIT), especially material that has been long tagged. I certainly welcome a solidly cited "modern influence" section; there would be much to put there and the topic is highly interesting. However, either you do provide sources or your contributions will simply be reverted. That's how Wikipedia works. Your personal interpretation of baba is also unwelcome and will be reverted whenever I do a routine watchlist check. You can either waste both my time and yours or follow Wikipedia policy on the matter and work to improve this article. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:19, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I did not restore any tagged or reasonably disputed material. i posted a note at wprussia. i am no longer willing to engage in dispute with aggressive newcoming page owner. - Altenmann >t 02:30, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
p.s. I am also routinely deleting unsourced text. But I am not doing this in such an arrogant manner. YOu have to respect past contributors and involve due diligence. Yeor threat to deletye eg Bartok the Magnificent is disrespct of common sense. - Altenmann >t 02:36, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I came here to bring this article to WP:GA standards. This article was a mess of unsourced internet hearsay prior. All information requires citations. If you want to assist in building this article as a solid source of information, then you are welcome to work with me, but it needs to by way of Wikipedia:Good article criteria and not a subjective notion of "common sense". :bloodofox: (talk) 02:43, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Speaking like true article owner. <plonk> - Altenmann >t 04:37, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not biting. You know what you need to do if you want to assist in improving this article. :bloodofox: (talk) 05:28, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a reliable, third-party sources from a non-non-Slav? Otherwise I am not sure if the author has sufficient knowledge in the fiction character. Also it does not belong to the lead (WP:UNDUEWEIGHT, WP:LEAD). Regards.--Tomcat (7) 12:05, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
This "author" is a leading scholar in the field who specializes in this particular figure. His ethnicity is of no concern to us. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:52, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Forest Witch[edit]

I added some info on Baltic forest witch, then I searched for a page titled "Witch", it was full of disambig's and no actual info about witches! No page about "Forest Witch" either. I am really surprised. I think that we should have a "Forest Witch" page with links to Baba Yaga and other forest witches of different cultures. Baba Yaga is not unique. Mikus (talk) 16:44, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

We require scholarly sources for such observations. I would very much like to see more articles on figures from Baltic folklore, but any such additions need to be grounded firmly in scholarship. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:06, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

English etymology?[edit]

Somebody please explain to me where are the mythological & linguistic proofs that Slavs "used/named" Baba YAGA after "English" people? How it derived from English or Norse? (where is the LINK to this claim)?


There is a character called "Mammadraga" in Italian fairy tales. In least one tale the namr was translated to Russian as Baba Yaga. The character there was a woman with snakes for hair who was drawing children to her house to eat them (or simply stealing them), under the guise of a beautiful, well dressed lady. Any actual connection to Baba Yaga? Omeganian (talk) 11:04, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

some more deleted content[edit]

I just randomly found out that my revision 704325016 was reverted, and looking at the discussion, I give up any effort to improve the article, so at least here's the text -

edit summary: (→‎Related figures and analogues: details about Czech-Slovak Ježibaba depiction - I can't find good references, but if you google for Dvořák's Rusalka adaptations, you'll get half the picture ... the rest in various cz/sk books, movies ...)

affected paragraph: Ježibaba, a figure closely related to Baba Yaga, appears in the folklore of the West Slavic peoples. The name Ježibaba and its variants are directly related to that of Baba Yaga. The two figures may stem from a common figure as far back as the medieval period, if not further, and both figures are at times similarly ambiguous. The two differ in their appearance in different tale types and differences in details regarding their appearances — unlike Baba Yaga, Ježibaba doesn't fly in a mortar but rather on a broomstick like western witches (yet she doesn't wear a hat like them; sometimes she wears a headscarf), and usually owns black animals, most often a (tom)cat, bats or at least a rook or some crows. Other forest animals, like wolves, may obey her as well. The power of Ježibaba usually comes from magic potions. Questions linger regarding the limited Slavic area—West Slavic nations, Slovakia, and the Czech lands—in which references to Ježibaba are recorded.[1]

... -- (talk) 00:10, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Regarding mentions in Contemporary and Modern Culture[edit]

also seen[edit]

baba yaga also appears in the computer game "Quest for glory". -zuck 21:42, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I second that, until recently this is the only time I had ever encountered this European folklore - trust it to be through American media!
You had to type "hut of brown, now sit down" to enter her house. Maybe Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (1989) deserves a link, if not for Baba Yaga being a central character, then for being one of the first to propagate the folklore to the rest of the western world?
xlynx (talk) 13:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC).
I secondly second this :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
As this has been here for some time with positive feedback, I have added it to the article. --xlynx (talk) 03:24, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Baba Yaga and the house on chicken legs are also featured in the novels Belarus and Enemies. I would have added this tidbit myself, but I forget the author's name and she is probably also featured in later novels in the same series, which I have not read. I would appreciate it if anybody with all the information would add it to the article. ––

Baba Yaga in Fables[edit]

While I agree that the depiction of Baba Yaga in the Fables series is very different from that of the usual folk tales, I must point out that the entire point of Fables is to take established folk characters and place them in very different circumstances so you can see how different they act. The Fables character of Baba Yaga is clearly intended to be the same as that of the traditional folk tales, with the implication that had Baba Yaga truly existed, this is what she may have gone on to do. Its inclusion in the no relation to the "real" Baba Yaga but the name list seems to imply that Fables merely co-opted the name for a different character entirely. I think this is misleading at best. - 00:21, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, I'd have to agree with you here. If they're going to include the appearances of Baba Yaga in Hellboy and such, I'd say the one from Fable is as good as any other. Witch? Check. Chicken-legged House? Check. Three Riders? Check. Powerful? Check. Evil? Check. The only difference was that she made herself look like Red Riding Hood as part of a plot. As valid as the others, in my opinion.- --LightWarden 22:31, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Some western author's fantasies is just a marketing ploy to sell, a trick ages old. BTW the actual text says "little or no relation", so there is some slack. Still there is no was to "prove" that in Fables is the "same" Baba Yaga or it is "different one". The basic understanding is that a "Real" baba yaga is a body of authentic folklore. If she is taken out of the traditional context, baba yaga is "different" by default, unless an expert writes otherwise and wikipedia quotes him. mikka (t) 06:47, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Spirited Away[edit]

It was always my assumption that the character Yubaba in Spirited Away was based on Baba Yaga, tho I have no proof. Can anyone prove/disprove this? --Tydaj 02:46, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I thought of the scene where Yubaba changes into a bird and flies off just like how Baba Yaga turns into a crow like in the Vasilisa story.--Lzygenius 13:57, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know... The way the article puts it seems a bit far-fetched. Though there may be similarities, saying that Spirited away is a retelling of the Vasilisa story is a bit too presumptious, if you ask me. I have read some Japanese sources on the anime, including a couple of interviews with Hayazaki, and none mentioned Jaga baba. In fact, contrary to most of his anime, this particular one is profoundly Japanese in nature - along with The princess mononoke, of course. You've got to understand that "baba" in Japanese means the exact same thing it does in Slavic languages - a hag, so Yubaba's name cannot be taken as a hint at Jaga baba. I'm neutralising the entry in the article - making into something along the line of "these two stories have some similarities". -- 08:32, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Bartok the Magnificent[edit]

I'm not totally up to date on Baba Yaga folklore and don't know how accurate it is, but someone should make a mention of the Baba Yaga appearance in the sequel to Anastasia called Bartok the Magnificent. She's an integral part of the storyline in that animated feature. the sleeper 06:18, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Just for note: Bartok the Magnificent was a prequel to Anastasia; not a sequel. kkarma 13:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Laundry list[edit]

Articles are preferable to lists according to Wikipedia guidelines. I prefer to see the notable occurrences in prose form. Pop culture needn't avoid being mentioned, but all the minor references can be summed up in a sentence or two rather than each being mentioned explicitly. If someone must have an exhaustive list, then start List of references to Baba Yaga. Michael Z. 2006-06-28 19:15 Z

I don't mean to suggest that some pruning and prosifying wouldn't be helpful--just that the laundry list was preferable to a drastic edit that threw out too many babies with the bathwater. Nareek 21:09, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Relation to Spirited Away ???[edit]

Does anybody have a citation for the fact that Spirited Away is a retelling of the Baba Yaga story? I find this highly unlikely and without a citation I am inclined not to believe it. The Crow 21:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and with things like this, we have to be bold and put the onus on the editor to find a source and not simply add what might be original research and just hope someone will source it later.--Dmz5 06:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I would agree, If not retelling, i'd say it has a lot of similarities. But to be fair, there are hundreds of fairy tales in different cultures where you have the same ingredients of the story. So unless there is a quote out there where Miyazaki says "Spirited Away is a retelling of Baba Jaga", or "Spirited Away was inspired by Baba Jaga", then it is not a retelling of or inspired by that story. If you're gonna try to prove that it is despite the existence of such a statement, you're in deep waters. 21:00, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe the any evidence people have for it is the name of the villain, the style of the character and perhaps where the creator comes from. The Most I could find is that it "Might be related to Baba Yaga"

Amazing. I remember Baba Roga.[edit]

Funny how this is still alive and well in modern Slav traditions. I'm Macedonian. During my childhood, my parents (and grandma, at times) would usually taunt me with myths of Baba Roga, the old lady that hid in the closet and ate little kids that misbehaved and didn't listen to their elders. I remember a few other characters, Baba Meca (Bear), and some local ones. However, I didn't know until recently that this was such a widespread tradition among Slavs. Interesting, very interesting. There so much detail to this folklore that totally flew over my mind, partially because of constant, yet unexplained, exposure to such myths. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jotsko (talkcontribs) 04:04, 30 January 2007 (UTC).

References in other liturature[edit]

Baba Yaga is also a character in the Hellboy comics: in an early one, he shot out her eye. In later stories, the character of Rasputin is shown consulting her. And finally, when the Rasputin character meets his end, she claims what is left of his soul and keeps it with her. -- 01:35, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

She is also a pretty important character in Vertigo comics fables. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, Baba Yaga's hut is an artifact in 1st edition D&D, wherein it is discribed in the Dungeon Master's Guide "Ages ago the most powerful female mage ever know spend much of her power in the creation of a magical dwelling of superb character. When she passed to another plane, her hut disappeard and has only been rumored to have been seen once or twice since. Baba Yaga developed a small of of ordinary appearance- a circular, thatched structure of 15' in diameter and 10' high. To this dwelling are attached two powerful fowl legs 12' long, which appear to be stilts..." pg 156 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:37, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Deleted Game edits[edit]

So why is it that the reference to Baba Yaga in Quest for Glory series are being deleted? This was a worldwide released game series by a major company, Sierra Entertainment, in which Baba Yaga appears as a prominent character in 3 separate games. Is it because I am not referencing this (which I can do if you leave it up there for a day or two), or is it because it is deemed in someone's opinion to not be as important as the movie and literature references listed (some of which I am sure far less people know about than the computer games). I also see from this discussion that other perfectly relevant literature appearances of Baba Yaga have been deleted; hopefully this was also not because of someone's opinion of their importance.pretzolio (talk) 08:04, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The rules are simple: (a) the appearance must be prominent, not just 2 seconds or two words (b) It must be reasonably "real" Baba Yaga, not just someone called this name, and (c) referenced from reliable source. We don't list all books where people happen to feast in the article "Spoon", do we? `'Míkka>t 15:32, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Well the appearance is quite prominent; Baba Yaga appears in three games of the series, she is integral to the storyline, has lots of interaction with the main hero caharcter and has plenty of dialogue (with Susan Silo as her voice actor in Quest For Glory 3). It is the traditional folklorish Baba Yaga too with the house on chicken legs and all (which is why you shouldn't be so quick to delete it just because you personally may not have heard of the Quest for Glory series). But I agree with you on the sourcing; I will not put the info back on the page until I source it properly with info from the game and the game manual (instead of some random website, like most people 'source' things with).pretzolio (talk) 21:55, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
      • If Quest for Glory has an official website, then it is OK to source from there. `'Míkka>t 02:13, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
        • It probably doesn't. The series was prominent circa 1990-1994. Good point in general. --Kizor 02:17, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
          • I would advise against its inclusion even if you do find the game's web site. A better choice would be an article in a prominent gaming magazine that discusses the character's presence in the game.--otherlleft 19:39, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Just a note: babajaga also appears in the computer game "quest for glory I" as a fairly important plot point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Seems to me that the phrase you needed to deliver "House of brown, now sit down" could be an adaptation of the phrase "Turn your back to the forest, your front to me." from the folk tale. Both are required to be said to make the door accessible. Also, she is integral to the storyline, as you had to defeat and banish her in the first game to complete it. In your first meeting with Baba Yaga she also displays her canibilistic tendencies by threatening to eat you. As it has been some time since the last comments, I will source and re-enter this information. Daff42 (talk) 23:30, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

any luck with that? I may have some old game manuals if it helps xlynx (talk) 04:26, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Lawn Dogs[edit]

There are explicit references to Baba Yaga throughout this film.Oliver9184 (talk) 14:25, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

I note that there are a LOT of references to Baba Yaga in different fictional media on this talk page (Fables, Quest for Glory, Hellboy) that are not on the page. Is there are a reason for them not being included? If it clutters the article too much, maybe a separate "Baba Yaga in popular culture" article could be created? It seems silly not to include these references when similar articles invariably do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:01, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

You have a good point there. I was just thinking about creating one for the Helboy character with some of the separate info but possibly a "in popular culture" page might fit more with the style of it. Runefar (talk) 00:56, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Zynga's Vampire Wars[edit]

Baba Yaga is also an enemy to be battled in Zynga's Social Networking game Vampire Wars. I don't know if this warrants mention in the main article but I think with the exploding popularity of Social Networking site games on the Facebook and MySpace platforms, such as Vampire Wars it may be worth a mention but I thought it better to discuss here before I changed the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TimeHorse (talkcontribs) 19:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Good instinct not changing right away. I enjoy and play that game from time to time, but I wouldn't add it myself unless I was aware of a reliable source that discusses it. I'd also love to include a reference to a character from Tad Williams' series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn who is clearly intended to be Baba Yaga with a different name, but I lack references for that, too.--otherlleft 19:36, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
While I don't give a shit about "social networking games" or the Baba Yaga, I do strongly believe that - for great justice - the opening of this article should have more different spellings and names, some maybe even from local dialects, and IPA for each of them. (talk) 05:11, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Seasons 2 Episode 4 of Lost Girl "Mirror, Mirror" featured the story of Baba Yaga[edit]


Kenzi, while drunk, accidentally invokes the witch Baba Yaga in order to put a curse on Dyson for breaking Bo's heart. Dyson discovers that all women now hate him and is furious with Kenzi; he accuses her of meddling with things she doesn't understand and being a stupid human. Kenzi becomes determined to lift the curse and seeks out her aunt, a fortune teller, for help. They manage to summon Baba Yaga and Kenzi sacrifices herself for Bo, becoming trapped in Baba Yaga's realm. Bo agrees to work for the Ash in return for getting help to save Kenzi. She almost drowns in her rescue attempt, but is revived by Dyson. Kenzi manages to defeat Baba Yaga by shoving her into her own oven, after breaking Baba Yaga's mirror into pieces and giving it to Baba Yaga's captives, allowing them to escape. Kenzi promises to be more careful going forward and encourages Bo to keep fighting for Dyson and Lauren. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Removal of "Baba Yaga in arts"[edit]

I originally came to wikipedia to look up Baba Yaga as I liked the myth and wanted to explore it in all it's forms, and see what else it had inspired. . . so I was quite concerned when I discovered that half of the entire article that must have taken users much time and effort to compile had simply been deleted.

If the "baba yaga in arts" references section is "executed without trial" like this, new seekers of that knowledge will no longer be able to explore and learn for themselves as I did.

That's the whole beauty of an encyclopedia such as this - That it allows everyone to learn and explore in their own way! Please do not simply delete large chunks of work that other users have spent a lot of time and effort adding.

Nothing detracts from the article more than deleting the single largest portion of said article!

If someone does not wish to explore that aspect of "Baba Yaga" they don't have to use the links, but please at least give them the freedom of choice.

I agree: why have many of the edits about her mentions in popular culture been removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Section "Modern influence"[edit]

After some long thinking I have to agree with Bloodofox that this contested section in its existing form is inappropriate. Of course, in nearly all mentioned cases it is self-evident that something is called "baba-yaga" in a film, story or computer game. But the mere name is insufficient to conclude (A) whether it is the "real" (or "improved" :-) baba-yaga, (B), whether the name was used to capitalize on cultural associations even if the "baba-yaga" in question is not the "real" one, or (C) whether it is a significant element of plot (i.e., worth mentioning in wikipedia article per WP:TRIVIA). Terefore "self-references", i.e., the titles of works are insufficient to serve as references for a wikipedia article, since to draw the conclusions for issues A, B, C above would constitute original reserach. - Altenmann >t 20:16, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

My thoughts[edit]

It seems to me that all that stuff was deleted because nobody could negotiate a compromise as to how any of it should be included. Here's where I think the whole thing ended:
Baba Yaga is quite prominent in modern culture, and so featuring any piecewise mentions, though of exemplary or especially notorious occurances, is not satisfactory. This is what was needed: a scholarly treatise which summarizes the folkloric mutations and conservations contributed through the 20th and 21st centuries A.D.

p.s. To those of you who wish to review my edit for botchery or the like, I ask that you pardon the large diff.
— JamesEG (talk) 12:54, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Johns (2004), p. 61-66.