Baba Yaga

(Image: Bilibin)

From a Russian folktale, the Baba Yaga is an old crone focused on taking the life force of those more beautiful than her. Often, a Baba Yaga has several magical servants ready to help her with this task, although she does not treat them well and they are quick to rebel if someone might treat them better. Baba Yaga has several defining features: her ugliness and her iron teeth with which she tears apart her victims. However, due to the rebellious nature of Baba Yaga’s servants, they can be bribed into letting a potential meal escape. One unique quirk of Baba Yaga is that, in many stories, she pursues her victims by hopping around in a large mortar, using the pestle to push herself along (Clarkson 179-181).

As a very old creature, Baba Yaga may represent the jealousy the old feel towards the young, as well as the power that the old have through their great age. In addition to this, Baba Yaga’s iron teeth show her cruelty and her true monstrous nature.


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