10/09 Open Thread: Were the Gallina People Ancient Hippies?

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Side view of adobe house with water in foreground," Acoma Pueblo [National Historic Landmark, New Mexico]."

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"Turn on, tune in, drop out" said Dr. Leary, and some, maybe many, did. Many others approximated that condition to varying degrees. Hippies, and DFHs, were not a homogenous culture, and many perceived by others to be such weren't really and didn't claim to be, while same who used the descriptor as self referent, weren't either. That's not too overly relevant, not as much as what they weren't. They were rebels, engaged in a rebellion, without necessarily being conscious of the fact, or intentionally rebels or participants in a rebellion. What they did do, was reject many or most aspects of mainstream culture, and step out of that world to the extent that they could, if only after hours and on weekends. The full-bore freaks, of course, were well beyond the pale, partaking more of the underground economy than the regular one, with their own sacraments and belief systems, their own culture and rituals, their own affinities and associations, their own music and more. Many tried to borrow from older cultures and do things in older, more traditional ways. They were, in a very real sense, a tribe of their own.

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I use the word tribe both because many of them saw themselves as a tribe, and a tribe separate and distinct from the ordinary USians, and because humans are tribal, and they pretty much fit the bill. The Gallina people were also tribal, to the core, more or less. They were, "a little-known Ancestral Puebloan people" ( Understanding A Misunderstood People, By Tamara Jager Stewart, American Archaeology, Volume 23, #3, Fall 2019. ) Cioted and quoted material is all drawn from this article. The Pueblo People of the South-west have been much discussed and described, and their architecture even more so, from the humblest houses to the great houses and great kivas, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and many others. Just exactly who they were, where they came from, what they did, and where they went are all matters of ongoing research and discussion. The Hopi are their descendants, and the Navajo, it seems, their ancestral enemies. They had huge flourishing, even dominating towns, and then largely dispersed. The causes of these events are also still debated. Overall, however, there is a string of technological, architectural, societal, and cultural characteristics that eveolved with them and more or less, at least to an archaeologist, identify them.

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Then too, there were the Gallina, seeming outliers and non-conformists among the ancient Puebloans, who have confounded many researchers. They occupied a chunk of New Mexico from roughly 1100 to 1300 CE, largely dwelling along ridgelines. They were more of less isolated and had little contact with outsiders, which resulted in them being dismissed by many archaeologist as "highland hillbillies". Similarities in their architecture and pottery to those prevalent in the Middle San Juan region dating clear back to 200 CE. It is believed that they migrated out of that region around 1050 or so. Once they left, their architecture, pottery and such remained unvarying for about 200 years, while elsewhere, other groups developed different, newer styles. They differed from their contemporaries in ways that caused many to believe that they had stagnated in their isolation while the world passed them by. There is, however, a competing viewpoint, put forth by researcher Lewis Borck. For example, most Gallina structures contain features associated with rituals right in the middle of the secular spaces and possibly serving secular purposed as well. According to Borck "The Gallina formed and maintained a non-specialized and decentralized religious system in which each domestic structure was likely used for ritual purposes." This contrasts with places like Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon where Kivas were developed as separate dedicated sacred spaces, with attendance and participation controlled by gate-keeper religious specialists. This had the effect of centralizing power and knowledge in a few. Borck sees the Gallina migration and cultural phenomenon as something of a cultural rebellion.

He considers the Gallina's resistance to the centralization of power as an "atavistic movement", a politically decentralized, grassroots transformation of their society. By dispensing with kivas, they eliminated the distinction between sacred and secular spaces, thereby giving religious and political power to the people.

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What the Gallina did, in short, was to reject heirarchy and adopt a more egalitarian socio-political system. Each person or family was as much priest or not as they saw fit. Rituals were internalized and needed neither priests nor cathedrals. The dispersion of this power and knowledge throughout the populace had a great levelling effect. They kept to the old ways because they worked and suited them and their lives just fine, though, per Borck, they were, when appropriate, great innovators. They simply didn't copy the same innovations ad their contemporaries. They literally stepped away from a confining, restrictive, oligarchist society by migration and dispersement. Though a goodly number of hippies also somewhat followed that pattern, more simply formed their own separate and distinct culture within,yet apart from and not of the mainstream culture.

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So why do I make this link between the Gallina and the Hippies?. We live today in a highly restrictive, controlling, anti-egalitarian oligarchy. As in the days of the Gallina and the Hippies, information is restricted and tightly controlled and a narrative manufacture and control machine is working 24/7 to generate a mythos to blind us to reality. Perhaps it is again time for an "atavistic movement". The Gallina literally walked away. Some hippies did too, but many more simply trod their own distinct and different pathway through, over, around and under the prevailing culture. In the times of the Hippies, political radicals fought to achieve "power to the people", which the Gallina achieved by leaving town and being their own power, and the Hippies, after a fashion, did likewise. Many today use the descriptor "woke", though I suspect that for most it is simply a different phrase for sleepwalking, but, that aside, what if we all just walked away? Ocupy had some of that, and XR has a healthy chunk of it, but one needn't necessarily join marches, so long as one can find a means of walking away. The Wobblies in the PNW found ways to supply essentials to the populace during citywide general strikes, dependent to a large measure on alternate socio-economic interactions. We need to figure out how to put this together and just shut the system down and get free of the controls and the controllers. Huelga.

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Ironically, I may not be here when this posts, PG&E has threatened to gratuitously cut off the power to large swaths of CA, including much of the Bay Area, including Castro Valley, starting Wednesday, through Thursday and perhaps for as long as a week.

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Title Image is a House in Acoma Pueblo

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It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
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QMS's picture

or "the peaceful people" are fascinating. To think they were descendants of the Gallina People makes sense. Rebellion has been around a long time.

iu_0.jpeg

Image of Spider Grandmother

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Listen to your higher mind.

QMS's picture

@QMS
That people did not know how to live

iu-2.jpeg

so sent Spider Grandmother to show the way

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10 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
from the mainstream Pueblo peoples, and not the Gallina, hence the kivas and such. They have, nonetheless stayed away from the surrounding madness to a large extent. When Spanish incursions and settlements of the southwest were temporarily stopped by the Pueblo Revolt, it seems that only the Hopi managed thereafter to keep the Spanish permanently out of their towns, and now they remain largely isolated from the rest of us as well.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

abiding on the residue of ancient shores.

I like your just walk away concept. Might be a good strategy today?

Sorry about your power being cut. Living in the shadow of the TVA here is not so bad. That's where our coop buys their power...sadly mostly nuke power.

Where is spider woman today to lead us out of the morass and into a new world?

Ute tour (50).jpg

Petroglyph in Mancos canyon.

My helper no showed me today. First time he's done that. I hope he just forgot and nothing is wrong.

Have a good one good people.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
element thereof is somewhat the inspiration for this essay. The less we absorb the mainstream culture, including much of their material culture, the less it can control and harm us, to an extent. If we buy no plastic containers and sugary drinks, then there should be effects that ripple through the system that will improve it and us. We cannot stop the massive over-consumption that is one hallmark of our society, but we can at least not indulge in it, to the benefit of ourselves, and perhaps influence others and maybe slow the juggernaut a little. It depends upon how many of WE we can influence to walk away and to what extent.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

4 am (no shit sherlock) until noon. This is the effect of giving control over necessities of life to capitalist enterprises. After decades of of insufficient maintenance, hardening, acquisition of buffer zones and worse, the PUC and courts are finally starting to hold PG&E to account for the damage it does when it starts wildfires or blows up suburban neighborhoods. Their response is still not hardening and prevention, but simply cutting services when the wind is up and the weather is dry. Lack of revenues, accompanied by some reduction in employee costs is cheaper than hardening the local grid. This is, in the end, all due to the fact that they exist to serve their shareholders and not their customers.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

(as you write about people power) that PG&E can cut everyone's power for up to a week? Jeez. I wonder how long Bay-are hospitals can run on generators. I hope no one needs air-conditioning or refrigeration anywhere. This sounds like a disaster in the making. Hope for everyone's sake the power is not turned off. This makes you realize how vulnerable we all are.
If extinction rebellion managed to cut off power for so many people they would be thrown In a deep dark dungeon for eternity.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx
yesterday that PG&E has become a terrorist organization. Just imagine the repercussions if any other group or agency not directly affiliated with the government were to threaten to shut down the power to even a small fraction of the territory in question, lt alone to follow up on that threat.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Shahryar's picture

@enhydra lutris

yeah, here we go

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/04/us/tapes-show-enron-arranged-plant-sh...

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

"Woke" is a past-tense verb; anybody who uses it as an adjective is an idiot.

It is the Blue-Team equivalent of the Red-Team "nucular", and a perfect symbol of the former's abrupt and gleeful abandonment of the intellectual high ground it had just spent the last 25-ish years fighting to earn, only to flush it down the toilet when just as those efforts were finally beginning to pay off.

Like hip-hop itself, it is corporate slop, Orwellian beyond belief, designed to make conformity sound like rebellion, ignorance sound like knowledge, slavery sound like freedom, etc etc ad nauseam.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

enhydra lutris's picture

being "used ironically" or what, especially since "used ironically" has become some sort of bullshit stylistic trope itself. Thanks for Huey et. al., nice clip. IIRC, hip-hop, in its origins, was somewhat rebellious and original, but quickly became overwhelmed and co-opted by imitators, poseurs, and the like, followed by the inevitable corporate stooges, but that is pretty much all second-hand knowledge. I do know that one of its major early backbones was one specific drum break, looped over and over, as background to whatever was being chanted. Look into the "amen break".

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

et al

No wind here. Electricity on. Is this a preview? Heh. Good stuff happening here with climate activism. The strikes have lit a fire under folks. (Is that a pun, a double endendre?) Better lit now than later. Still a lot of work to do to move those who are still invested in capitalism. No other way to put it really. The system is broken and just read somewhere, maybe here, that the best things in life are not things. Dayum, 67% of our GDP is consumer spending. Just stop, already. Bring it down. okay, guess I am ranting. Thanks, as always, for all you do and the great OTs you keep cranking out. I so enjoy them. Have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma @magiamma
we need more; "one, two, three Vietnams strikes and rebellions". And, yes, let's just walk away, styop buying the plastics and products and bullshit.

Have a good one.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

Incredible that this is the safety measure PG&E is forced to implement to address the high winds. Maybe the technology that we, as tax payers, have funded for the military can be directed to an infrastructure that can hold up to the climate changes we are living with right now?

I am so sorry to hear you may be without electricity. I have experienced that myself and living in the dark was not only inconvenient, but quietly frankly, frightening as well. Please keep us updated if you can so we know you are alright.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
bullshit political theater and activism. They've had decades to inspect, repair, udpgrade, harden and get additional buffer zones. They haven't, but paid their executives and shareholders handsomely instead. Now the courts, for once, have made them pay for the incessant annual avoidable damage they do, and this is their protest, simple terrorism. They don't have anywhere near enough quality to actually inspect that much or the grid in the time frame at hand, let alone to fix any of it.
/rant

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

This is just horrific. Where to go from here, then?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
systems. I turned off my computer at about 12:00 to not risk a crash, so, of course, they informed a few media sources of a postponement until 8pm, no widespread announcements of anything, nothing on radio, etc. They're basically holding us all hostage. If I could afford the battery system and home modifications to install it, I'd be done with them tomorrow.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

The funny thing is that there are two wildfires in California and one is right underneath the power lines. No mention of how it started yet. Link in the other essay on this. You are right that this is eco terrorism. Businesses are going to lose billions. People will lose food. Schools will be affected..the list is long on how much money is going to be affected. Disabled people who rely on medical devices..well shucks if they die right? Nursing homes, hospitals are going to have to spend lots of $$$ on gas for their generators.. and all Newsom said is that people should be upset about this.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

earthling1's picture

to cover for their incompetance should be a crime.
The punishment should also be nationalization of the power company.
If it could happen anywhere, it would be California, which has a long history of leading the nation. Remember the smog controls ordered by the California legislature in the last century that went national?
Thanks EL on the Gallina story. Had I known about it I would have looked for evidence in my travels through Mesa Verde and Canyon of the Ancients and the surrounding landscapes.
There is sooo much to learn about pre-Columbian history.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1
should never be controlled by private for profit entities in the first place. You won't find Gallina relics, etc. in Mesa Verde etc., those are the places they walked away from.

Have a good one.

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --