Fairy Tale: Ba’ba Yaga’

Esteemed Readers,

today I present you a folk tale about Ba’ba Yaga’ to have a break from Iva’n Tsare’vich’s adventures. This version has much in common with Hansel e Gretel, so il allow me to conclude that it appeared in our folklore in the XIXth century, when Germany, its literature & philosophy was much in vogue in Russia.

The tale tells about two little twins who were turned out of the house by a wicked step-mother. She sent them to the wild forest to serve Ba’ba Yaga’. Unfortunately, our beauty Yaga’ is described as a true witch in the tale. She creates a dreadful impression. So, poor children had to work hard before getting their freedom & escape.

No matter a real Grimm’s spirit, the tale keeps the Russian essence. It analyses a process of maturing by means of unpredictable circumstances. While reading it occured to me that it was alike the planet Saturn that became our strict teacher since a certain age. At the same time the tale shows Ba’ba Yaga’s helplessness. It is so difficult for her to live alone in the forest. Enjoy reading!

Here is the full tex: Russian Folk Tale 9

Maria KethuProfumo

The Source: Folk Tales From the Russian, by Verra Xenophontovna Kalamatiano de Blumenthal, 1903

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Russian Mythology: Selective & Dark Minor Spirits

Pantheon of Minor Spirits in the Russian Mythology is very versatile. A number of dark spirits exceeds the good ones. It  might be connected with our wild nature & the weather conditions. The life is hard in forests, besides there is little sun in the Russian wild lands.

Anch’utka – an ancient name of the Russian devil. He is linked with water & might be one of Vodyanoj’s friends as well he knows flying. He lives in water sources or in bogs. But one mustn’t mention his name aloud as he comes to the call.

Vstr’echnik – a wind spirit, appearing as a whirl. It is believed that a devil & a witch celebrate their wedding inside it. So, if you are brave enough & don’t get frightened, you might even make them be your servants: throw a knife into the wind, so the dark forces will get their flesh & will serve you. Vstre’chnik seeks for souls of murderers, traitors, suicides, that’s why he can make troubles to a good man.

Zlebo’g – a spirit of the world above, who punishes guilty people. He is often represented as a snake. He is accompanied with Zli’dni, tiny little dark spirits living at the stof & bringing troubles in a routine life.

Kold’un – half a spirit & half a man with super powers. They are usually represented alike Gandalf or Saruman, however in dark clothes. They might be at the service of Good or Evil. They cannot live this world without passing their force to a heir. As they are single & have no family, they do it by means of some spell or astuteness.

Vedog’oni – spirits-twins, protecting a human being from the Evil & other misfortunes during all his life. They accumulate the good, property, etc, however if the spirits die protecting their owner, he might die soon too.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Fairy-Tale: Tsarevna Frog

Esteemed Readers, I offer you another pretty thriller Russian tale named “The Tsarevna Frog”. This version is similar European stories where the main hero is turned into a beast due to some mysterious reasons.

Again it narrates about Ivan Tsare’vich’s adventures happened due to his irresponsibility. Unlike other tales, there are two main chapters which make the plot more intense: the beginning where he meets the frog destined to become his wife & the end where he defeats Koschei the Immortal thanks to Baba Yaga‘s animals’ help.

This tale enchants with more obvious presence of the magic as  Tsarevna Frog turns out to be a beautiful, wise maiden who knows various skills. There is little violence in it, no matter Ivan Tsarevich‘s long journey through a deep forest & no dark personnages except Koschei. I cannot say that this story is about a fight between the Good & the Evil. This is more a kin story, telling about particular problems in the family. Certainly, this is the one about maturity of the main hero: a light-minded Ivan Tsarevich becomes the real man passing all his misfortunes & quests. While the end of the story proves that he is even wise as did not deny the frog as a wife.

So, dear gentlemen, never judge a woman by her appearance. Who knows what a princess is waiting for you…if you manage to appreciate her rich inner world. 🙂

Here is the full text:Russian Folk Tale 8

Maria KethuProfumo

The Source: Folk Tales From the Russian, by Verra Xenophontovna Kalamatiano de Blumenthal, 1903

Posted in culture, education, family, fantasy, folklore, fun, Happiness, History, Life, Lifestyle, Literature, mythology, nature, paganism, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Female Characters in the Russian Fairy-Tales

Besides Ba’ba Yag’a, who is certainly the wisest, the most mysterious & the most impressive woman one can discover in the Russian fairy-tales, there are static female characters interested to be analysed.

Unlike the folklore of ther nations, keeping great images of beautiful, powerful & wise ladies, the Russian one could harldy provide anybody of the kind. I suspect this attitude comes from the duality of our perception as I have already mentioned in previous posts. For Russians women in tales are divided: they are either beautiful and if they are their beauty passes beyond any limit or they are wise and if so, they are too  intelligent &  even able to conquer the whole world. Traditionally main female characters, faincées of various Ivans, are maidens 15-18 years old approximately. A rare tale mentions about their own family & if so as a rule it is a weird one & makes maidens suffer a lot. And there is always a mystery how & where they learned their crafts, magic & how many Ivans they accepted before the necessary one to have finally reached them.

Those female characters who are described as beautiful might be capricious, spoiled, selfish & stupid, while their opposites are kind, compassionate, have a good contact with the nature & animals & are able to solve any problem. Maybe that’s the root of out eternal Russian evil: “weak men & strong women”.  If we compare plots, we might notice that beautiful women are more preferable in our tales than wise ones. The Russian men are afraid of intelligent women, so that might be a reason why our folklore diminishes their presence.

Another favourite personage are foreign princesses. They often appear in our tales & are usually promoted as the most extraordinary women in the world. They are not only beautiful but wise, know the magic, to do everything about the house & to solve any problem: from sock darning to calm a statal rebellion. Strangely enough, all of them speak Russian & give Ivans a very warm welcome when they kidnap them.

All stated above might make you think, Esteemed Readers, that the Russian men used to have a rich imagination. They did & yet they do!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Mercure Galant: Arrival of Messire Contarini, Ambassador of Venice

Esteemed Readers, far in the past visits of foreign Ambassadors & other people of dignity were accompanied with solemnity & the air of celebration too. Here is a little description Mercure Galant gives concerning arrival of the Venetian Ambassador to Paris in 1680:

“His numerous Lackeys were wearing red cloth decorated with golden braids & pieces of silk in a form of pyramids of tints of white, crimson, bleu & golden pink, combined with similar orange. Their garments were enriched with a great deal of ribbons & feathers settled in the most amazing manner. Besides his Carriage together with another two ones were of a remarkable beauty; each was harnessed with six horses & their richness dazzled… Gold & some drops of diamonds were shining from all four sides; elegant Sculptures & Painting, served for the main decorative elements, depicted The Triumph of Virtues. The body of the Carriage was covered with huge pieces of gilded leather perfectly crafted. They were folded (in the center points from each side) by means of a Golden Crown held by four Amours…”

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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La Gazette: Historical News Today -1631

Esteemed Readers, here are some freshest tidings happened in Juin-Jule of 1631 in Europe, yet in the frames of the Thirty Years’ War:

Venice June 6, 1631: ‘We have learned from the Milanese that the war is worse & worse & that General Altinger is preparing Germans to re-take the route to their state (Milan). That’s the first thing he expects to do. Colonel Galas wrote Duke of Mantova that he would incline his Deputies to accept Mantova and Montferrat, then he wished his son Prince de Guymené to take the throne in Cazale, while Marquis de Poma to do in Mantova. Here we should take into account that territory de Valere was re-joined to this Signoria & that Signore Aluize Gorzi re-hold the power.’

S.Germain en Lay, July 2, 1631:  ‘Drought of this season increased much efficacy of mineral water springs. Among them the Forges waters are very popular at present. It has been thirty years since Monsieur Martin, a great Doctor, made them fashion. Then a popular rumour approved it. Today Monsieur Bovuard, the First Doctor of the King (Louis XIII), has given them his highest appreciation & being a man of great trust, skill & experience, he gave some water to His Majesty, who drank it with precaution & then the Court followed his example.’

Venice, June 13, 1631: ‘Based on the guarantee of Pavia that Italian peace has been made, a canon fired three times & Te Deum was sung with a great joy. It has been made with Milan as well. Fortifications of Grisons expect workers’ hammers to be destroyed, while four regiments of Spaniards are on their way back to Flandre, of course in case if the Frenchmen will leave Pied Mont(Piemonte) & Savoye.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles VI

Esteemed Readers, finally I post a new wonderful riddle together with the answer you have been longing for. It describes a sort of a natural phenomenon. Good luck!

“I’m a dark daughter of a luminous Father; I disdain the Earth, so I raise up into the Sky; Where I often appease Gods’ temper when they are about to lose it. My father is amiable, while I’m annoying & often I make cry a good man.”

REPLY to the Riddle posted on May 20, 2019: SPIRIT!

Many of you were close to this answer, so my congratulations to all who thought in the spiritual direction!

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in culture, folklore, France, History, humour, Life, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, news, Riddles, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments