BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HIPPIES
Kia ora Tatau. Tena koutou tena koutou tena koutou katoa.
Take a virtual multimedia tour down memory lane and revisit the history making and internationally acclaimed Nambassa alternatives festivals of music, arts and culture, and grab a glimpse of the splendour and wonders of the artistic, dynamic and thought provoking culture of New Zealand's unique 1970’s home grown hip movement.
Nambassa is the tribal name of a Charitable Trust and series of hippie/counter-culture 3 and 5 day music, arts and alternatives festivals held around Waihi and Waikino in
The Nambassa festivals were organised on a voluntary basis by creative young hippies from
The History of the Hippies
As to where the hippie-counterculture movement began is a matter of opinion which varies upon which country the history is being analysed from and the fusion of which subculture groups the hippies were said to have emerged. In Trafalgar Square London in 1958 in an act of civil disobedience 60,000-100,000 peace loving protesters made up of students and pacifists converged in what was to become the “ban the Bomb” demonstrations out of which surfaced one of the first counterculture groups. It is from this British group that the peace sign surfaced and remains to this day the most recognised symbol of peace, freedom and hippiedom. In
The New Zealand and Australian counter-culture models sought to expand in its own unique way from what many viewed as the dramatic collapse of the American hippie movement after the Vietnam War, when most hippies no longer plagued by the burden of the military draft, hopped back into the system and rejoined big-brother. But the music continued to expand. The antecedents of the early 1960s
The hippies are one of the most maligned subculture in western history, attracting the same level of intense rage, hatred and societal inquisition that was directed by the Christian churches of Catholicism and Protestantism at the spiritually founded free-thinkers of Europe's Early and Middle Ages. Behind the façade of negative press against the rise of hippiedom, a serious cultural revolution was in the making. The international hippie movement given their successful campaign ending the Vietnam war in 1965, which
The new order in art and entertainment, environmentalism, health and diet, multiculturalism, fashion, sexual tolerance and free spirituality that was developed by the counter-culture are now integrated into mainstream society. Even conservative mainstream Christian religions who once vehemently opposed the rise and threat of hippydom, have plagiarised many of their spiritual models and types of music to enhance their own community assemblies. Words like peace and love, vegetarianism, yoga, meditation, free spirituality, holistic healing, human rights, free speech, chanting, recycling and organics, gender equality, non-xenophobic, co-educational, new age, holistic health, gay liberation and protest are now accepted terms which have become central traits of western and other mindsets. Throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s the hippies and their modern evolution the yuppies, became the foot-soldiers and often the prime organisers of the campaigns throughout the world for; human and civil rights, anti war activism, the emerging Green movements, the health consciousness revolution, the voice advocating open spirituality and freethinking, women’s activism, and the anti-nuclear and anti-war movements.
Many of today’s youth are unaware as to what a different, closed and stultifyingly boring society we once lived in before the 1960s. Or to just how maligned and persecuted by that old society were the Hippies of the social revolution, as necessary change was articulated. However their effects on society has been permanent bringing new meaning to the notion that hippies saved the world.
By the mid to late 1970s as a reaction to a decade and a half of hippiedom spreading love and peace, a new nihilistic anti-hippie youth movement emerged. That of an alcohol and hard drugs induced cult called Punk Rock. While this new movement portrayed itself as being anti establishment, in actual fact it did the bidding of conservative society and attempted to redirect young people back to the annals of old antecedents of a pre 1960s culture and values. While Punk did not last its effect on the music industry was permanent because multinational record companies found better marketing leverage and increased sales by selling music to young people with a more violent tone. Today, hard core punk is predominantly the music and culture of choice of neo-Nazis and white supremacist.
What is most compelling is that the rise, persecution and fall of hippiedom and the “NEW WAY”, was predicted thousands of years ago by Christ and the prophets of most of the world’s spiritual based cultures.
Hippies Environmental crusade
The early hippies pleaded with society to respect “Mother Earth” and warned of the dire consequences of continued mismanagement of the world resources and its sensitive ecological systems. The first Nambassa newsletter released in 1976 warned of the impending collapse of the economic and environmental system caused by vulture capitalism. These predictions bringing new meaning to a world, now grappling with unprecedented environmental degradation caused by global warming, and the collapse of capitalism caused by the disintegration or meltdown of the worlds banking system. "Quote from the 1976 Nambassa newsletter"“There can be no doubt we are living in confusing times. The social pressures alone are enough to start one thinking about living an alternative lifestyle. Already many people are leaving the cities to live on the land, simply because they can no longer afford the costs of urban life. We are using up our natural resources at an ever increasing rate and they are not going to last for ever. In fact we are abusing our planet woefully. Mother earth will not tolerate this continued rape, and is groaning under the burden of unenlightened man. Consider this and ask yourself, “Is this a natural way of life, is this how we were meant to live?” In all truth we have entered a depression, and are fast reaching a stage, not only of economic collapse, but a point where our very survival is threatened. Now, more than ever before, there is a need and a growing desire for people to learn to live outside the collapsing economic and social system, with its greed and avarice, and it’s denial of individuality.”
The boom of psychedelic music, and the de-conditioning brought about by the hippie revolution, fostered the advent of a generation of musical originals. The sixties and seventies spearheaded new music types, these now the established artistic precedent from which new styles will naturally evolve. These musical growth spurts have broken free from old world experience, taking the various musical disciplines in new directions with impressive and innovative results. In much the same way the 1960s and 1970s social revolution also heralded significant changes in how the west viewed its relationship to its perceived core value systems.
A Legacy of Hippiedom
While mainstream religious, political and economic systems have attempted to drag humankind back to the ignorance of the dark ages, the freeing up of mind and culture caused by the breaking away from decaying old world perception, has stimulated new found expanded consciousness levels throughout the world which has fostered unprecedented growth in world science and technology, human and civil rights standards, free speech and press, personal spiritual growth, environmentalism, and health and diet. The extent of the phenomenal and unprecedented speed and growth of our evolving culture over the past 50 years (since the rise of the counter-culture) has not been matched since life began to evolve on the planet. (“The number of days have been reduced, had this not have been done then nobody would survive.” Matt24-22 & "And it shall come to pass in the last days, ^of the age^, I will show wonders in the heavens above, ^spiritual renaissance^, and signs in the earth beneath. ^worldly advancements.^ Acts )
The reasons we have seen these unprecedented growth spurts over this part of the age is due primarily to the transition of western spiritual consciousness, from the limitations of a 2000 year old repressive Roman Christian sectarian belief system/ tradition, to a new open and transparent practice of free spirituality. Humankind's quest to find answers to his purpose and to unlock the mysteries to creation outside the parameters of traditional or conventional models of thinking has delivered a profound acceleration of evolution with unprecedented results. The hippie revolution forged new horizons and the world changed accordingly, these new found keys unlocked new doors to once repressed aspects of the brains chemistry and intellectual capacity expanded forthwith.
With our focus now on the future please visit the emerging Nambassa2000 blog which is a 2008 response to present world predicaments and events. This blog implores one to investigate the notion that if we are to survive ecologically and spiritually as a cohesive global community in this twenty-first century, then we are encouraged to consider revisiting many of the positive lifestyle and belief system traits proposed by the 60's and 70's hippie subculture. This blog intends to canvas constructive ideas concerning issues which effect our future human and world development. Nambassa2000 invites you to comment on issues that are effecting our survival in the twenty-first century, this against a backdrop of social and cultural collapse, war, religious misinformation, environmental degradation and community alienation.
The intentions of Nambassa-Online are not to simply regurgitate events and models of old, but to rediscover and build upon this unique spirituality or meaning, which fundamentally caused time and evolution to begin to accelerate from the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, causing a whole generation of disaffected youth to question the status quo, out of which seeds were sown for the new way or as some, would prefer it said metaphorically, a developing New Heaven (Spiritual methodology) and Earth (Lifestyle conducive to respecting Mother Earth, developing spiritual knowledge and ones personal growth).
"While we are divided by man made religious, political and economic interests, we all share and are united by the common thread of our humanity. At Nambassa we encourage the labels to fall away and we feed from the well of a sacred oneness, from this the essential building blocks of spirituality are developed. Here we create the environment for Nirvana so that we will replenish and Christ the earth".
AROHANUI- Peter Terry