Published on December 28, 2012 by Casey
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The benevolent Nikommo stands in sharp contrast to Hobbamock. Nikommo makes his home among the fir trees and is seldom seen. He is the one who brings success to hunters and fishermen. Joy, love, peace, unity and self-less generosity are all personified in Nikommo.
The moon of Sharing and Giving (mid-December to mid-January) is named in his honor. A special gathering is held during this moon but any celebration of feasting, dancing, and give-aways is called a Nikommo.
In keeping with tradition, The Chaubunagungamaug Clan distributes food, clothing and children’s gifts to needy families each winter. With the generous support of Indians and non-Indians alike, Nikommo still lives in Nipmuck territory!
A most treacherous and hideous being, Hobbamock lurks in the night-time shadows. Some people will not go out alone at night for fear of an encounter with this frightful fiend. He is the Indian “bogeyman” and the equal of the European “devil.”
Those who are in harmony with their fellow beings and seek the presence of the Great Spirit in their lives have no cause to be intimidated by Hobbamock! Only self-styled witches and medicine people who abuse their gifts can be seriously endangered by this mischievous evil one.
Sometimes called “Cheepie”, this malevolent phantom is a source of pain, sickness and emotional distress. He frequently materializes in various grotesque apparitions including impersonations of departed loved ones – or enemies.
The term “cheepie” is from “chippe” (separate, apart); hence, “separated from the living”; chepeck, the dead; chepassotam, dead sachem; chepasquaw, dead woman.
Strangely enough, sometimes “Hobbamock” was given or adopted as a personal name or title as in the case of Massasoit’s high-ranking Wampanoag Council Member who served as ambassador to the Plymouth Colony.
(Legends of the Nipmuck People)