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Little Hut on Chicken Feet April 17, 2016

Posted by anagasto in building, photography.
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It used to be a puzzling story. There is a little hut that stands on chicken legs  in the middle of a forest.

When after a long and difficult trip you get there, you talk to it.

It is the house of Baba Yaga.

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This is a fragment of The Madonna of the Village by Chagall. It is at the Thyssen in Madrid, and there is a large reproduction on the museum’s webpage at http://www.museothyssen.org/thyssen/zoom_obra/447

You say: “Izbushka, izbushka!” (meaning little hut)

“Little hut, little hut!
Facing the woods with your back to the street :
Turn around!”

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When it hears this, the little hut will turn around and you can speak to it.

chagall-yellow-village

However, wouldn’t it be clumsy for the little hut to be on chicken feet? And  clunky. And yet this story is in all the books so that it should not simply be shrugged off. —

There would also be a reason why the little hut turns its back to the street.

All of this  was a riddle until now. Now there is Google.

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And so I googled  and here is what I found:

The photo by M. Prinke is under a CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sami_Storehouse.jpg

These are old stories, and originally the hunters of Siberia kept their food off the ground  in small log cabins built on top of  tree stumps.

And these stumps with their roots would look like chicken legs….

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Baba Yaga frightening the mushrooms

Baba Yaga is sometimes a dangerous witch, but she can also be kind and helpful.

It is risky to ask her for help, because she is not predictable.

wassilissa 1

You have to be like Wassilissa,  courageous and polite, though Baba Yaga is rude, and you may not ask any personal questions.

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Baba Yaga's hut

Baba Yaga lives in the house that walks on chicken feet.  It had teeth for a lock and glowing coals for windows.

wassilissa 2

Wassilissa had to be brave.

Baba Yaga arrived flying on a broom and cursing every living thing while landing at her gate.

Baba Yaga traveling
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On your way to Baba Yaga you would mostly meet three riders: one all in white and riding a white horse: it is Day. And then another rider, all in red, riding a red horse: it is the Sun. And a third, all in black on a black horse: it is Night.

For the  Russian ballet go to Flickr at http://tinyurl.com/lecwwe


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Comments»

1. Carl D'Agostino - September 12, 2011

Charming story. Thanks.

2. BABA ET SPIRITS OF THE WISE WOMEN | ASCENSION CENTER ORGANIZATION - November 25, 2011

[…] The House of Baba Yaga (espliego.wordpress.com) […]


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