Results 1 to 12 of 12
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Throbert McGee
  • 1 Post By Seraph

Thread: Баба-Яга

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    52
    Rep Power
    6

    Баба-Яга

    How does "everyone" know she flies? What story makes it obvious that she flies? There is reference to her flying in Ruslan and Ludmilla, but that is much later. I realize I am absolutely crazy, but I really want to know how "everyone" knows that Baba Yaga flies. My Russian friend tells me everyone knows, but he cannot name a story in which it is obvious that she is flying on her mortar.
    Кристина

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairfax, VA (Фэйрфэкс, ш. Виргиния, США)
    Posts
    1,591
    Rep Power
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by christineka View Post
    How does "everyone" know she flies? What story makes it obvious that she flies? There is reference to her flying in Ruslan and Ludmilla, but that is much later. I realize I am absolutely crazy, but I really want to know how "everyone" knows that Baba Yaga flies. My Russian friend tells me everyone knows, but he cannot name a story in which it is obvious that she is flying on her mortar.




    In the fairy-tales I'm familiar with, Baba Yaga doesn't exactly fly, but rather travels in a series of bounces, using the mortar and pestle as a sort of pogo-stick. She sits in the mortar and strikes the pestle against the ground with such might that the mortar (and herself) are propelled through the air for some distance. As the mortar falls to the ground, she strikes with the pestle again and thus does another hop. Sometimes she also has one or two birch brooms along with her -- skillfully sweeping the path before and behind the mortar even while she's simultaneously banging on the ground with the pestle.

    She definitely travels this way in Василиса Прекрасная ("Vasilisa the Beautiful") -- certainly, illustrator Ivan Bilibin portrayed her crashing through the forest in what appears to be a levitating mortar (see above), in his pictures for "Vasilisa". And if memory serves, she also bounces around in her mortar to visit a wise talking frog, in the story Пойди туда, не знаю куда -- Принеси то, не знаю что ("Go I know not where, fetch I know not what").

    But I'm not aware of any stories where the mortar and the witch are able to soar at great heights, like E.T. on the bicycle silhouetted against the moon.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of stories where she never leaves her hut -- she just sits around and either threatens to gobble up the hero(ine), or on rare occasions, offers helpful advice about where to find some sort of magical item, like a character in a computer adventure game.

    P.S. If I'm not mistaken, in the very earliest Superman comic books, Superman was also a "hopper/bouncer", like Baba Yaga -- he could leap a mile horizontally with a single running jump, or from ground level up to the top of a skyscraper -- yet he didn't actually fly. (Although it didn't take long before flying was added to the list of his super-powers.)
    Lampada likes this.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,049
    Rep Power
    25
    This is an interesting point. Indeed, in original fairy tales the way of motion usually is not specified explicitly. Phrase like "едет в ступе, пестом погоняет" are used normally, that can denote either flying or sliding or whatever. Along with Christianity we got an idea about witches flying on brooms to their sabbaths, and that can be confused with the original pagan Баба-Яга. Later, in the modern time we had several animated cartoons about Баба-Яга flying in the mortar so the idea of flying is common now. But to find out what was the original vehicle principle, the extensive research is required.


    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  4. #4
    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    782
    Rep Power
    14
    How can you impress children that can run like the wind, with an old witch that eats kids, but only moves on foot? The kids can out run her, so she has to be able to fly to catch them (and always has flown, I think).
    CoffeeCup likes this.

  5. #5
    Новичок SilverDragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Russia, Moscow
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    6
    Russian tail stories or a fantasy used to very good. In other words in all stories good won evil thats why the story about баба яга have so type of character that can't catch childern. Russian fairy tales also was used for teaching childern how to live. The stories given them a hope that in real live that good is always win and better to be good than evil to survive.

  6. #6
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairfax, VA (Фэйрфэкс, ш. Виргиния, США)
    Posts
    1,591
    Rep Power
    36
    This thread reminds me that there are some other famous Russian witches who definitely flew: in Мастер и Маргарита, Margarita temporarily becomes a witch and flies on a broom, while her maidservant Natasha rides a flying pig (actually, a neighbor who was turned into a pig). And in the 1967 movie version of Вий, the old witch (who resembles Baba Yaga, but is played by a male actor в травести) causes Leonid Kuravliev to fly, while riding on his shoulders.

    Seraph -- тоже в немецкой сказке "Hansel and Gretel", ведьма-людоедка питается детьми, а она не может летать, и вообще не гоняется за жертвами. Эта ведьма привлекает детей к себе тем, что она живёт в избушке, построенной из кекса, печенья, и конфеток. And although Baba Yaga didn't have such a delicious house, she didn't go hunting for children -- the young heroes and heroines came to her (sometimes because they were lost; sometimes because they needed advice).

    By the way, I first discovered Russian fairytales when I was about 10 years old, in a 1966 Soviet-published English edition by Ирина Железнова. (My parents bought the book for me when they visited the USSR as tourists in the early 1980s.) As an adult, I've read some of these stories in the original Russian, and apparently Zheleznova took some minor liberties as a translator. For example, in the version of Василиса Прекрасная that I read in English as a child, Vasilisa's magical doll summons ants and mice to help with the huge task of sorting the wheat grains and the poppy seeds, but in the Russian original, it's not explained how the doll managed to sort the seeds.

  7. #7
    Увлечённый спикер
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    52
    Rep Power
    6
    Thank you! Leaping/hopping in the mortar makes so much more sense! (Even if it isn't in the story.) My book is called "The Magic Ring: Russian Folk Tales from Alexander Afansiev's Collection" It was published in Moscow in 1985. It has great illustrations. In vasilisa the beautiful it shows Baba Yaga in the air in her mortar with pestle and broom. I am slowly reading through the stories in English, completely baffled that anyone would tell such horrible stories to children. I'm slowly finding each story по-русски and slowly reading through to see what the Russian says. I think these stories are more like "Scary Tales" than Fairy Tales, but then I suppose the same could be said of many nursery tales I grew up with. My mind is too small for people who get inside a horse's ear to eat drink, then step out the other side or for A husband to cast his wife away because she bore a normal son. Anyway, I am interested in any further explanations of these fairy tales. I don't see any moral to most of these stories.
    Кристина

  8. #8
    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    782
    Rep Power
    14
    ... Vasilisa's magical doll summons ants and mice to help with the huge task of sorting the wheat grains and the poppy seeds, but in the Russian original, it's not explained how the doll managed to sort the seeds.
    In one story in which various seeds were mixed up and needed to be separated, protagonist used wind to separate seeds.

  9. #9
    Почётный участник
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    138
    Rep Power
    6
    Here is video, shows what can happens with man who try to get explanation of Baba-Yaga flying.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Чапелхилловка, NC USA
    Posts
    1,987
    Rep Power
    16
    great thread! I have a whole bunch of Russian fairy tale books, including several of the Bilibin-illustrated ones. I never did understand how she got around, I always thought it looked awkward to pilot! =:^)

  11. #11
    Почётный участник
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    138
    Rep Power
    6

    Additional


    Летучий Корабль - Частушки Бабок Ежек

    Муз.М.Дунаевского
    Сл.Ю.Энтина

    Припев:

    Растяни меха гармошка
    Эх, играй-наяривай
    Спой частушки, бабка Ежка
    Пой, не разговаривай!

    Я была навеселе
    И летала на метле
    Ой, сама не верю я
    В эти суеверия!!

    Шла я по лесу домой
    Увязался черт за мной
    Думала- мужчина
    Что за чертовщина!

    Повернула я домой
    Снова черт идет за мной
    Плюнула на плешь ему
    И послала к лешему!

    Самый вредный из людей
    Это сказочник, злодей
    Вот уж врун искусный
    Жаль, что он невкусный

    Припев.

  12. #12
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mowcow, Russia
    Posts
    1,957
    Rep Power
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    Later, in the modern time we had several animated cartoons about Баба-Яга flying in the mortar so the idea of flying is common now.
    And that's the answer to christineka's question. Everyone saw at least some of those cartoons, so everyone "knows" that the stupa is an aircraft rather than a ground vehicle. .

Similar Threads

  1. Pansy: баба, слабак, или что-то другое?
    By doninphxaz in forum Grammar and Vocabulary
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: February 27th, 2010, 09:41 PM
  2. Баба Яга, во ножественном числе.
    By Wowik in forum Grammar and Vocabulary
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: March 3rd, 2007, 09:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary