Nationality: Former Soviet Union/Ukranian/Russian
Occupation: Interior Designer
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/9/18
Primary Language: Russian
Other Language(s): Ukranian, English
When I was little girl, maybe five or six, I always liked to take long bath. My fingers would get all wrinkled and shrunken, and this annoyed my mother. She told me that if my skiw wrinkled too much, that I would turn into Baba Yaga [note: Baba Yaga is a witch-like common character in Russian folklore] and start eating children. This scared me a lot, so I only took only very quick baths afterward. I now know it was to scare me away from taking too long baths. It seems so silly to me now that I was afraid of turning into Baba Yaga (laughs). Children will believe anything especially if it is scary.
- Why does informant know this piece?
It was told to her by her mother.
- Where did they learn this piece?
- What does it mean to them?
This was a cautionary tale of what happens when you shower for too long.
This is told to children to scare them from wasting water and taking baths for too long.
Parents often tell weird stories to children to keep them from wasting food, water, or time. This is a cautionary tale about what happens if you waste water and bath time. This was probably used to save money and prevent the child from staying in the bathroom for too long and not letting other people take their turn.