De herkomst van de hippie herleid tot de Lebensreformers in Duitsland aan het einde van de negentiende eeuw.
- William Pester in front of his cabin in Palm Canyon, Palm Springs California, 1917 (courtesy: Palm Springs Art Museum, Photograph: Stephen H. Willard)
“[…] Pester, known as the ‘hermit of Palm Springs’, left Germany in 1906 to avoid military service. He settled in Palm Canyon, a couple of hours drive east of Los Angeles, where he took long solitary hikes in the bronze San Jacinto Mountains and sold homemade postcards at a roadside stand. These cards featured health tips gleaned from the philosophy of Lebensreform (life reform), the late-19th century German cultural movement that endorsed a return to nature through practices like vegetarianism, natural healing, and nudism.
Sometime in the 1930s, Pester met a fellow wanderer named eden ahbez in Tahquitz Canyon.[…]”
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