Kikimora ( _ru. кики́мора) is a female house spirit in Slavic mythology, sometimes said to be married to the Domovoi. Kikimoras are said to be the spirits of unbaptized children.

In some tales Kikimora is a witch with a head as small as a thimble and a body as thin as straw. [cite web|url=|title="Kikimora"] In other tales, she is an average woman with her hair down (married Slavic women typically kept their hair covered, and young unmarried girls kept it braided). She may also be described as a small humpbacked woman in dirty clothes.

Kikimora is said to look after the chickens and the housework if the home is well-kept. If not, she will tickle, whistle, and whine at the children at night. She also comes out at night to spin. It is said that a person who sees Kikimora spinning will soon die. To appease an angry Kikimora, one should wash all the pots and pans with fern tea.

She usually lives behind the stove or in the cellar of the house where she haunts. Kikimora can also be found in a swamp or forest.

The Kikimora is the subject of a fairy tale for orchestra by Anatoly Lyadov, who says, as recounted by a Los Angeles Philharmonic program note, that she "grows up with a magician in the mountains. From dawn to sunset the magician’s cat regales Kikimora with fantastic tales of ancient times and faraway places, as Kikimora rocks in a cradle made of crystal. It takes her seven years to reach maturity, by which time her head is no larger than a thimble and her body no wider than a strand of straw. Kikimora spins flax from dusk and to dawn, with evil intentions for the world".

Marsh Kikimora ( _ru. кики́мора боло́тная) is featured in the animal world - in 1988 Kirill Eskov named a genus from the Linyphiidae spider family discovered by him "Kikimora palustris", after this spirit in Slavic mythology.


Other references

* Kikimora (キキーモラ "Kiki-Mora") also refers to a secondary character from the Puyo Puyo series of video games, in which she is portrayed as a maid, obsessed with cleaning and slightly crazed as well.

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