—“The Hut on Bird’s Legs (Baba Yaga)” from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (1874). 

This video is excellent. Though frustratingly, there’s a real lack of consensus on what Baba Yaga is supposed to be. Some Slavic folktales say she eats children, other say she offers wisdom. (Those two things might not be contradictory, fine.) Some say she flies on a broom, others say she travels in a mortar and merely uses the broom to cover her tracks. Russian lore says her house stands perched on two dancing chicken legs; Polish tradition says just one chicken leg. But I liked this bit, from Wikipedia: 

Seeking out her aid is usually portrayed as a dangerous act. An emphasis is placed on the need for proper preparation and purity of spirit, as well as basic politeness. It is said she ages one year every time she is asked a question, which may explain her reluctance to help. This effect, however, can be reversed with a special blend of tea made with blue roses.

  1. bradplumer posted this