“Brotherhood of The Sun”: Commune Living

When I first encountered the photos of “Brotherhood of the Sun”, I was completely taken. Taken by the sheer magnitude of happiness and honesty. You really can see it… honesty and happiness that is. You feel it in your bones. Every photo made me smile high with personal thoughts of who I was looking at. I found myself just staring…dreaming…smiling. It’s the little things… always the little things. Today, they come by way of Mehosh Dziadzio, both his words and exquisite photos. From 1972-1979, Mehosh lived on a commune, documenting the life and culture of that particular time. My mother lived on a commune in her 20s as an artist and singer. I grew up in her arms listening to tales and stories and meeting her crazy hippie friends that would roll through our lives from time to time. “So and so is staying for the summer”…she would say… ” so and so has decided to move in with her kids for a bit.” I grew up with 3 older brothers and HEAPS of aunties and uncles. It’s a beautiful experience to see these photos come alive with what I imagine my mother’s life looking like before I was born. It gives a certain peace to who she is, and how her calm loving nature never wavers. I hope you find as much light, love, and inspiration in these photos as I have.

Mehosh says….

“Back in the seventies I lived on a commune for seven years. My job was to document the various aspects of our lifestyle and share it with those who may have been seeking the same, by taking a slideshow on the road to college campuses and New Age expositions. At its peak, the community reached a population of around 350 men, women and children. This album is dedicated to premise that it is possible to live together in peace… Now, more than ever does this concept seem more relevant and necessary, if we are going to continue to thrive on this planet Earth.”

“We called ourselves the Brotherhood of the Sun….” 

Mehosh Commune

mehosh commune

“The dream of living simply and naturally, rising with the sun, retiring when it fades, observing seasonal changes, planting, reaping, flowing with the poetry that is nature, was a dream shared by many of our generation…”

mehosh commune


Picture 26

“Collectively we represented a great variety of occupations, from cowboys to sailors, blacksmiths to weavers, store keepers to bee keepers, shepards to truck drivers and mechanics to shoe makers, just to name a few.”

Picture 31


Picture 10

Picture 24

Picture 46All photos copyright Mehosh Dziadzio


  1. I got super excited and happy when I saw these images. I’ve long believed in the power of communal living, and these pictures clearly show what’s possible when people are willing to live with positive, shared intention. Thanks for posting!

  2. Two years ago I was researching communes to seriously consider the life change… until I saw a picture where everyone had to shave their heads because of lice. :( This looks more like the commune I wanted to be a part of!

  3. This is amazing! My aunt lived in a commune when she was in her twenties, and my Mum has always been a hippy, so I’ve always been interested in communal living.

  4. As part of a year of volunteer service, I lived in community with eight other volunteers where everything from soybeans to stipends was shared. Our goal was to explore the values of simple living, spirituality and social justice as realised through communal living. I was forever amazed by our power. One person often falters when trying to accomplish something alone, but together nothing is daunting. What we lacked in cash we made up for in collective creativity. It altered my perception of reality. I am forever enamoured with people who choose to live with intention, so I am very grateful to have learned of Mehosh’s experience. I have written about people whom I feel make modern lifestyle choices that share similar sentiments (including the author of this post!) here:


    Thank you for the constant inspiration. xxo

  5. Wow! I just came across these photos yesterday and it sure brings back very moving memories. I lived at Sunburst or Brotherhood of the sun back then, from about 74 to 79 and I know these people. I forget their names except for Rick and Walley but their faces are etched in my memory. This was a very special time in all of our lives, such awakening, such love. We were all very fortunate to have had this time with each other. I have not been in contact with any of the people I knew there since that time. I was married there to a girl named Lora, we left in 79. I will most likely get in touch with Mehosh soon but I was inspired to send you an e-mail. Thanks for posting this and all the very best to you and yours.

    With Love,


  6. Trying to reconnect with former Brotherhood member Mess, he was injured from a Horse kicking him,
    he was like a brother to me in a former life. Can anyone remember him or contact him ?

  7. I miss sunburst so badly. Everyday since leaving. Too bad it fell apart. I’ve tried to find other one but none are the same. Where can I live? I don’t like city living!!!!

  8. I lived at Sunburst from 75 to 80. The pictures not only showed me what we had but also what we lost. I have from time to time wondered what might and should have been but was never realized. It was truly unfortunant how everything went down and that the masses left to better serve the few. Sunburst was such a blessing for me- I was socially awkward and it also didn’t help that my family showed me their own special kind of cruelties and I also had no place to go- no sense of belonging. I will always be grateful for the love that was given so freely and completely to me ,the understanding and of course the patience needed to help me be more trusting of people. Thank you to all my brothers and sisters. OH and Earl if you are still looking for Mas – last I heard he lived in Bishop Ca and owned a leather shop. Judy Wren

  9. It’s so good to see the faces and the names of people I remember,and still hold close to my heart.We truly had something special,all brought together to share a new awakening in our spirits.A great time of healing for many of us who were broken.I came to Sunburst in 1973 till 1979, I was 16 when I joined.I so much miss that lifestyle and have never found anything to fill that void since I left.It’s very hard to find people to talk to anymore about what we shared,I miss all of you so much..my true brothers and sisters in the sun….John

  10. Michael Gross l remember Lorain throwing a cantaloupe at you and hitting you in the nuts at the Isla Vista store. It was a beautiful time in our lives.

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