Ecology and Death in Mateel: The Meaning of Hoka Hey

The counter-cultural community of Mateel in Humboldt County, California, has, in its two decades of existence, developed a unique cultural system based upon a worldview which is the opposite of the technological, scientistic American worldview. Rather than alienation from Nature, including the natural processes of life and death, Mateelians realistically include humans into their view of Nature. Their funeral practices and drama reflect this worldview, one which is seen to reduce those social trends which negatively affect the natural environment. The comparison is based upon 15 years of participant-observation in the Mateel community.