The Rainbows

USA

Your mother sleeps in a solar powered bus. Your dad protests the “oppression” of honeybees. Welcome to the Rainbow Family.

The Rainbow Family is a non-hierarchical group that holds free gatherings around the world. Last July they brought 25,000 people together for a week in the wilderness in New Mexico, U.S.

The crowd boasts an eclectic mix of dreadlocked tree-huggers, yoga yuppies and street kids, all interested in raising collective consciousness.

I’ve been homeless since I was 13. One day, some guy swooped through town, drove me to a gathering, gave me two pounds of pot and said ‘figure it out’. So I did.
Emma, 18

The “Prayer for Peace”, in which everyone links arms and prays for world peace, is the central ceremony. Trade circles, fire-spinning and mass pagan weddings are also popular. Participants refer to one another as “brothers” and “sisters”.

Drawn here by free food, shelter and familial support, street teens are sometimes called “drainbows” by less sympathetic family members that see their drinking and drug-use to be a ‘drain’ on the wholesome spirit of Rainbow.