Yaga Baba Rides Off to Fight The Crocodile

This lubok dates from the 17th century and depicts Baba Yaga, riding a pig, battling a crocodile. It is believed to be a satire of Peter the Great and his wife Catherine by the Old Believers (who called Peter the Great “the Crocodile”). The figure of Yaga Baba, which is the reversed name of the Russian fairy tale witch “Baba Yaga”, is shown wearing the traditional Estonian costume (Catherine was a native of Estonia).


The original text reads “Ѧга Баба єдєтъ с коркодиломъ дратисѧ на свиньє с пєстомъ да у них же по кустомъ склѧница с вино” but a modern translation would be: Яга Баба едет с крокодилом драться на свинье с пестом, да у них же под кустом скляница с вином. “Yaga Baba rides off to fight the crocodile on a pig with a pestle, and under a bush they have a glass of wine.”

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