Tipi Nation Post

The old counties of Mid Wales, Brecknockshire and Radnorshire were, and still are, sparsely populated.  This was ideal for those hippies who desired to move out of the cities and commune with nature.  Their favoured dwellings were the Native American tipis.  During the 70s a number of communes set up, some with peace and love types, some with proto eco-warriors, some with anarchist tendencies, and some having good reason to be off the police radar.  They had one thing in common; they were almost universally disliked by the locals.  This commonality led them to declare a Tipi Nation.  Some wanted a name to reflect where they were, and opted for Brycheiniog, the old Welsh name for Brecknock and the name of the early princedom that flourished in the area about 500-900AD.  Others were happy with Tipi Nation, so both were adopted and considered interchangeable. It followed that such a nation required its own postal service.

Mail was divided into different categories – in increasing ‘cost’ of whenever it can be delivered, soon please, and packets.  Cost is in inverted commas, because there was no actual fixed rate.  Those who were going from one community to another would see if there was any post to take, and generally accept what the sender had to offer in return for delivery.  On offer could be cigarettes, bottles of beer, certain pharmaceuticals and plant derivatives (usually the payment of choice), food items, and services like collecting firewood, or field clearance.  Despite the seemingly haphazard nature of the organisation it worked well in its own way.

The stamps came about through a friend of a friend who required a supply from the ‘hidden plantations’.  The stamps had a common flower design, and by general agreement the butterfly on the largest daisy would indicate the postal rate.  Post to be sent anytime has the Orange Tip butterfly; while for mail to be delivered sooner the Silver Washed Fritillary was chosen.  On packets you would find the Purple Emperor.  The stamps are additionally decorated with other butterfly species, such as Marbled White, Brimstone, Greyling, Red Admiral and Large Blue.  Much has been written about codes on the positioning of the other butterflies on the stamps, but it well documented that these were added just too ‘look cool’.  Because the butterflies were only attached by their bodies the wings were proud of the background, creating a true 3D stamp.

The Tipi Nation has long vanished but you can still enjoy the lifestyle. Those old hippies are now offering weekend or longer breaks in tipis equipped with WiFi and hot tubs!

269 270  270 271  271 272

Tipi Nation Post

SK NumberTypeDescription
353270Orange Tip anytime delivery
354271Silver Washed Fritillary next day delivery
355272Purple Emperor packet delivery
355dAs types 270 - 272 but without any of the "denomination" butterflies

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