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James Callow Folklore Archive

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GAME

A TRADITIONAL GAME AMONG CERTAIN GROUPS OF CHILDREN IN ST. JOSEPH
IS "BAGA YAGA". THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS: A SHED, PORCH, GARAGE, OR OTHER
"BASE", A TRICYCLE, SCOOTER, OR WAGON FOR USE AS A "POWER",
A PARKED CAR, TREE, OR OTHER STATIONARY OBSTACLE, AN OPEN SPACE,
AND CHILDREN. BY A COUNTING-OUT RHYME, ONE CHILD IS CHOSEN TO BE
BAGA YAGA, OR "IT". BAGA YAGA IS AN EVIL OLD WITCH WHO CHASES ANY
OTHERS WHO VENTURE FORTH FROM THE BASE. THE USE OF THE POWER HELPS
BAGA YAGA CATCH THE OTHERS. THE OBSTACLE AND OPEN SPACE MAKE FOR A
MORE EXCITING CHASE. WHEN BAGA YAGA TAGS ANOTHER CHILD, THAT CHILD
BECOMES BAGA YAGA.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD OF A LEGEND ABOUT BABA YAGA, AN OLD EASTERN EUROPEAN
WITCH WHO SUPPOSEDLY CHASED INNOCENT CHILDREN BY RIDING IN
A MORTAR AND PESTLE. COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION?

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
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