Coincidence? lmao I was going through my Sunday’s documentaries. and came across (Prime) ‘‘Mysteries of Russia’’ and here it comes BABA YAGA it continues with; ''the History of Baba Yaga is very famous in Russia. Baba Yaga is an evil (what?) living in the dark forest. She is a body? of an old lady having (that has) and evil face and iron teeth.
Baba Yaga lives in a wooden hut consisting of chicken feets. It can walk on these legs (the hut?). The fence of the hut is made of human bones. According to the story the hut always stops with its back to the visitors and you need to say a secret phrase to open its gate.
the secret phrase is; ‘‘TURN YOUR BACK TO THE FOREST, YOUR FRONT TO ME.’’ Now, the question is, why would anyone want to enter the house of an evil? Some say the Baba knows the formula of a secret potion which can make you young again. So is this story true? it still a mystery.
It’s strange how some stories reach across the world, and touch ppl’s life differently. In my Island of Puerto Rico, no one eats/like the chicken feets bc the chicken walks in the dirt, ppl’s spit, their own excrement etc… but I do remember my maternal side grandma and her 3 sisters simmer these chicken feets, and apply the oil from the chicken legs in their face and neck at night time ( and do some slapping here and there in their face and neck). The smell of those legs cooking at night time was a bit repulsive to me, and the thought of seeing the chicken rubbing themselves in dirt was even more disturbing to me.
Was it pure coincidence or they interpreted the Russian story of Baba Yaga’s chicken feet hut as the secret of becoming younger and that’s why they applied the fat from the chicken feets in their face?
Well, my paternal grandmother use rice water to wash her face every night (she was dark skin color, while my other grandma was extremely white), and now I imagine the rice recipe might come from Asia maybe?)
Although I never tried my maternal grandma’s chicken feets beauty secret, I did the rice recipe. The rice recipe: you put rice to soak in a glass jar more water than rice of course, and put outside the window for 3 days (it can’t be hot weather it must be cool). If the weather is too hot, they recommend you keep it 3 days in the fridge. After 3 days you strain it with a cotton strainer (we call it colador de café), and we put this water in another jar to use as a face wash morning and night. It was also use to cure something call in my country ‘‘paño’’ I believe here in US we call it Vitiligo. It works on small vitiligo only (paño).
It’s a pity that I can no longer ask my grandmas or her sisters why they did this chicken feet-rice beauty thing recipes bc they have long left this world, and resting in peace. My own mother and aunt never did follow that beauty tip bc in their opinion it was gross and they had acne (oily) prone skin. The never thought of putting anything greasy in their face lol. But my mother always did the rice water and she looks way younger than her age (79).
I do recall my maternal grandma and her sisters having the most perfect rosy cheeks and shiny beautiful skin until very late in their life (late 70’s) That’s when they started getting deep wrinkles and looking older (they always did look younger than their actual age). I can’t say my paternal grandma use it to look younger but she did cured her ‘‘paño’’ with that, and never had acne. I also like my grandma use to get ‘‘paño’’ in Puerto Rico bc of the sun, and it would go away when she did the rice recipe for me. I don’t get ‘‘paño’’ when I came to live here in US with the sun but I get ‘‘paño’’ when I stay too long in Florida.
Fortune telling, beauty secrets,and folklore stories entwined together, and getting different interpretations all over the world. I ask myself, was this really pure coincidence?