Published on November 12, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Chippewa, Potawatomi, Algonquin
Alternate spellings: Chipiapoos, Jiibayaabooz, Chibia’bos, Chipiapoo, Jibiaboz, Cipyapos, Cipyapus, Chipiyabos, Cheeby-aub-oozoo
Pronunciation: varies by dialect: usually chee-bee-ah-bose or jee-bee-ah-booz
Type: Lord of the Dead, hero, wolf
Related figures in other tribes: Moqwaio (Menominee), Mateguas (Abenaki)
Chibiabos is the beloved brother of the culture hero Nanabozho in the traditional stories of many Anishinabe communities. By some versions, they are twins; according to others, Chibiabos is Nanabozho’s younger brother; and in still other tellings, he was adopted by Nanabozho as his brother. In some communities Chibiabos, like his brother, is associated with rabbits (his name literally means “ghost rabbit”), but in others, he was a wolf spirit often represented in the physical form of a wolf. Chibiabos was murdered by water spirits, touching off a violent chain of events that included the destruction of the earth by flood. Afterwards, Nanabozho accepted that he could not bring his brother back to life, so Chibiabos became ruler of the underworld. He is portrayed as a good and kind being who takes good care of the land of the dead.