Within the realms of Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being, usually portrayed as an old, crone-like witch, who can control the elements and has also been known to eat people. Despite this appetite, Baba Yaga is as thin as a skeleton and, due to this, the phrase "bony legs" is often used after her name. Her nose is extremely long, and she seems to use it to smell out people. In some tales she also has teeth made of iron, which she will sharpen when preparing to consume someone.
She travels around in an over-sized mortar - either by flying or dragging herself along the ground - and carries a pestle, broom and/or mop around with her. The hut in which Baba Yaga lives, deep in the forest, seems to be 'alive', can move about using the giant chicken legs on which it's perched, and sometimes uses its windows as eyes.
Sometimes, there are three Baba Yagas who are sisters, very similar in appearance, but they are often described as being different ages or have somewhat differing personalities and temperaments. However, even when there is only one Baba Yaga, her role is extremely varied, ranging from a cannibalistic witch, to a helpful and wise "earth mother", and everything in between.
For more in-depth information about Baba Yaga (a version of her, anyway) Old Russia's Baba Yaga page is quite useful. You can also read a Baba Yaga story from Folk Tales From the Russian, by Verra Xenophontovna Kalamatiano de Blumenthal, , at Internet Sacred Text Archive.
This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge, 2013.
Full list of A-Z blogs after the cut below!