Costume Candidate for 2013: Baba Yaga

Backers of our Kickstarter project will get to vote on which new costumes we do for 2013. This series of posts is designed to briefly introduce the many notable women and legendary figures we’ll be considering.

Baba Yaga is the legendary witch of Slavic folklore, especially Russian fairy tales. She lives on the edge of the forest in a hut that stands and moves on chicken legs. Baba Yaga herself fills the hut from end to end, stretched out on her stove with her nose growing into the ceiling. She travels through the air in a mortar, pushing herself along with a pestle and sweeping away her tracks with a broom. She also likes to eat people.

Is Baba Yaga just a witch, or the debased form of an earlier Slavic goddess? Nobody knows for sure, but it’s interesting to speculate. She certainly is very powerful, and some of the details in the fairy tales suggest deity-like attributes. She’s also not entirely evil; sometimes she can be downright helpful. This has led many scholars to see her as the remnant of a pre-Christian goddess with both benign and malevolent aspects. Whatever the case, Baba Yaga is one of the most delightfully weird and intriguing figures in European mythology.

Think we should add a Baba Yaga costume to Take Back Halloween? Make sure you join our Kickstarter project so you can vote!


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