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People of the Rainbow; A Nomadic Utopia

Michael I. Niman Ph.D., Buffalo State College

Abstract

This is a comprehensive study of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, also known as The Rainbow Nation and The Rainbow Family. The Family, committed to principals of non-violence and non-hierarchical egalitarianism, has been holding large non-commercial Gatherings since 1972. They gather to pray for world peace and to demonstrate the viability of a cooperative utopian community living in harmony with the Earth. They govern themselves using a Council whose membership is open to all interested parties. Money is not needed, all necessities are free at Gatherings. Everyone is welcome.

This book describes different aspects of Rainbow Family life such as how the Rainbow Family Council functions; how the physical infrastructure of the Gatherings work; how they confront problems non-violently; who the Rainbow people are; how they are motivated to work in a society without money; how they relate to other communities and how they care for the land on which they gather. It also looks at internal contradictions within the Family and places the Family into an historical context.

It examines how the mainstream world relates to the Rainbow Family; how the media sees them and reports on the Gatherings and how the U.S. government treats them. It also examines the Family's relationship with Native Americans from whom they've appropriated much of their culture and spiritual beliefs.

Suggested Citation

Michael I. Niman Ph.D.. People of the Rainbow; A Nomadic Utopia (1 ed). Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997.

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