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The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe.

Updated Jan 2008 new photogallery - TUMT in Europa   TUMT Inglestone Common

Updated July 2009 with many new pix from Janet .Wystic Mankers page

. view at 1280 x 1024 res for best results


    Whenever one reads an account of the 1980s free festivals, one comes across the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe. This madcap bunch of performer/travelers were , as Convoy Steve sez

' the creative, surreal, prankster Circus of the traveling scene '.

and Big Steve- stage manager of the pyramid stage at Stonehenge

'My relationship with the Tibetans goes back a long way and I certainly wouldn't have been able to do so much without their help and co-operation - they were an inspiration to me and lovely people, groups would often play in the Tibetan marquee and the pyramid on subsequent days'

As long as you follow this maxim whilst viewing the site, all will be well.....

Photo © Igor Malaprop

Mouse over and click on most of the photos to see 750 pixel versions

    There is no doubt that the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe hold a unique place in the ranks of great British hippie eccentrics .Their activities were by no means confined to free festivals, as they appeared at almost all of the commercial East Anglian Fairs and Peace Fairs of the early 80s. We have very fortunately been allowed to reproduce portions of the diaries written by three of the Troupes members which document journeys made to festivals in the summers of 1980 , 1981 and 1982.

   How did the logs come into being , and what was their function ? -well, according to Igor Malaprop, one of the early members of the Troupe,

    As for the texts , you appear to have some extracts from the "Book of the road" a personal journal of one particular member and some excerpts from the T.U.M.T. "Log". The log was a kind of open diary written in on a daily basis by whoever felt inspired to chronicle events , put down their thoughts or get something off their chest. It also included photos ,posters , flyers ,newspaper cuttings ,festival newssheets that we put out and stuff like that. Obviously over the years the log became many volumes.What sometimes happened when people left the troupe is that they would take bits of the log with them ,especially bits they had written or sometimes just as a momento of their time onboard. I'm pretty sure part of the log was stolen at one point ,I suspect by someone trying to get some dirt on us. There were some parties at the time who viewed us with suspicion !

Malaprop is also able to throw some light onto the origins of the exotic name bestowed upon the Troupe

   As for the name " Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe" it was kind of a yin -yang thing. The " Tibetan " part represented the spiritual , metaphysical aspect of life whereas the " Ukranian " bit was the more physical , down to earth side of things. [ The deliberate miss spelling , although originally a sign writting error, was kept in for numeralogical balance.] The "Mountain"
bit - well, because it was there, really and the " Troupe " because we were !
OR

some ancient clown thought of it off the top of his head!

   BUT , as in all things Pranksterish, we have a completely different version of how the exotique moniker bestowed on the troupe came to be - from none other than Jolly Jay who speaketh thus and who disagreeeth with Igor on some points , although we are sure there are elements of truth (whatever the fuck that is ), in both reports......

 

Raising the Glove at some fair or other © Igor Malaprop

Us raising the glove to signify the start of Festival Law. As long as the glove is raised the site is under the jurisdiction of Festival Law, which doesn't involve Policemen but, in the case of any trouble, does involves stout sticks! I'm not sure where this was but it was definitely '80 or '81 ..!

Igor

courtesy Igor Malaprop

   The troupe started in Kingston when it was called the Bombay Bus Trucking company and Mr Bombay was the boss, whoever he was we never saw him, he did not exist. Perry Balfour , Perry Hazard was the young inspirational influence and Mike and Kp got given the Blue and White marquee, a longer story, so they took it out on the road. Perry's dad was Michael Balfour , a professional movie actor and our show guru, link to the tradition of performance. He was also very impressed with the notion of love and peace as a youth movement, a beautiful man.
    At the end of 1979 at the festival of Fools in Penzance, wanting to take the mickey out of the so called alternative theatre scene, which he saw as an imitation of traditional stuff and nothing new , he came up with a sketch which was the sand dance, throw sand on the floor and do a silly dance to Egyptian music, with a trio of idiot and dumb artists, and as they were leaving the bus, Perry's Bella Vega, they needed a name so he dragged it off the ethers, and came up with the Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe, a troupe from another planet or another place which would always be bizarre and so it was.

Love Jolly Jay

   So this is why if you spelt Ukranian as Ukrainian, its highly likely that you would not actually be able to find these pages , in which case you probably aren't reading this and its simply a figment of your warped imagination ! Confused ?

Good !


Whither TUMT ?

    Some visitors to the site with nothing better to do with their time have asked what has happened to the Tibetans? Have they disappeared up their own fundamental orifices ?, become merchant bankers ? , arms salesmen? , euro MP's ?, derelicts ? ,winos ? door to door vacuum cleaner salespersonettes ?

Where are they now ? © Igor Malaprop

   In order to answer this tantalising question we at The Archive sent out our cyber spies to every corner of the circular globe until finally we tracked down a tiny , bald , shriveled high caste Troupe member living in a moth eaten bender in an obscure portion of one of the more disreputable eastern European provinces .

   When asked the question , he spaketh thus and our awestricken ( and slightly frost bitten ) scribes hastily scribbled the pearls of wisdom that dripped from his toothless mouth verbatim onto their cracked vellum parchments ......

"A brief statement from in a tent.

We stoppeth to call ourselves a "Troupe" by 1986, really. By this time it hath becometh clear that we hath evolveth into something more and miriad diverse. Although we hath had our roots in thee UK Free Festivals and Albionic fairs of thee 70's and early 80's our travels and exploits in Europe in thee early to mid '80's had bringeth us into contacte with a whole and other world of colourful opportunities, excitement, challenge and medical conditions of great interest.

By thee beginneth of the '90's we hath establisblished various "Lodges" around Europe, thee main ones being those in thee Sierra Nevada, in thee Pyrenees and in thee Preseli Mountains of West Wales (we foundeth it most crucial to maintaineth a Lodge in the UK mainly for thee purpose of aquireing and behold spare parts to service our beloved but old Busses). We hath becometh more involved with other groups and chapters, working with them to raise events in Europe and thee former Soviet Union, and to provideth our particular expertease and equipmente and, although "Organisation" would be totally thee wrong word, we hath becomen truly internationale.

Although we hath been spendent most of our time and focus on thee continente we still hath cometh regular back to thee UK for a few eventuals in thee summers. We hath had a long time involvemente with thee Glastonbury Festival that continueth to this day and, although this be the predominant UK event that we have maintaineth a regular presence at, we hath contributed to various and smaller events in the UK, and still doeth.

We hath hardly ever useth thee "Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe" name in these days, mostly prefereth to operate under various banners and descretely, dependeth on thee situation. (To manifest, for example, as " Tibetan-Ukranian Famile", I may say, provideth total impunity and freedom from socio-cultural baggage, to whit, nobody knows it's us.)

We hath been currently involved with various media projects that also include a book of some depth, colour and black and white and are hopeth to post some of it, at least, on thee inthernet in thee near future. Thee World Peace Missile hath gained vast momentum in these recent times, although thee travel still seemeth uphill.

We thanketh sincerely all our friends whom continueth to bless us with their concern and support.

Razvan Ha-ttoppleoff,
Centrale Candle Committee,
Sighisoara."

And with these words the esteemed Razvan fell silent and would speak no more ...........

The "Tibetan Books of the Road "

    Portions of the First ,Second and Third volumes of the Tibetan Book of The Road have now , at long last, been added to these pages .The reason it took so long was that it all had to be transcribed (and in some cases ) , deciphered by a hamfisted elderly scribe who types with about four fingers...... me .....

    You can also to grok over pictures of the Tibetans on the road and their buses and trucks. The Beast ,The Ting, The Buzz, The Burden , The Lunch bus , Horace and others ......... their names possibly reflected the degree of trouble they gave to their owners- they were always breaking down (or getting stuck in the mud !)

   View the books by following the links below , you can also see lots of hand drawn graphics taken from the original books, as well as some full page documents relating to TUMT sillyness and activities. Visit the photo gallery and grok over the assorted vehicles seen therein , Its all only a click away - you can read all about the TUMT troupe, The Wystic Mankers, Inner City Unit, Thandoy, The Ritual of the Exploding of the Glove, and many other bizarre happenings, all in the privacy of your own home ........

   There are of course, other books, not reproduced here and for good reason . Many are too esoteric , frightening, arcane, silly, illegal and weird for our delicate readers to be exposed to their bizarre contents online. Some were written in code , wherin to hide their contents from the forces opposed to the order, but which are now possibly unreadable, as their authors have decamped, departed, deleted themselves from this earth or possibly are just simply out to lunch .

   Those who have put it about that the rest of the books aren't here because no one was silly enough to let us look at them are of course completely on the wrong track .....

Left: The cover of a much used weighty Tibetan tome , courtesy Igor Malaprop

 Books of the Road and other oddities ....

 

 

Were you there? Did you ever encounter the Tibetans in performance ?

If so , we want to hear from you , send recollections, press cuttings , photos etc,Contact us if you can help.

Visit the C Is For Dog web site and investigate the Wystic Mankers recordings for sale within.

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Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

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