Bureau of Lost Culture – The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift (13/05/2023)
If they were a cult, they were a very British cult.
In the 1920s if you had seen strangely attired groups of people walking in formation along southern England’s pagan pathways and round its prehistoric stone circles, you may have encountered The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift.
They shared their initials – and a predilection for arcane symbols, pointy hoods and cloaks – with the Ku Klux Klan but that’s where the similarities end.
They thought they were spiritual samurai, rebuilding Britain after the Great War with magical rituals, outdoor living and utopian vision. They were clean-living proto-new age weekend hippies directed by a messianic autocratic visionary and produced extraordinary art and craft of graphics, symbols, costumes.
They also inspired a ’70s rock opera..
Annebella Pollen, author of a wonderful book on the Kindred, came to the Bureau to tell us all about them and about some of the other strange esoteric groups that flourished in between the world wars.