Goa mourns death of hippie godfather 'Eight Finger Eddie'
Wednesday 27 October 2010
An ageing American hippie known as "Eight Finger Eddie" who was famous across India's resort state of Goa as a relic of its drug-fuelled, drop-out culture of the 1960s has died.
The 85-year-old, whose real name was Yertward Mazamanian, died in the former Portuguese colony after a long illness on October 18, according to online tribute web sites.
His cremation was streamed live on the user-generated content site www.blogtv.com. The video showed his body covered in flowers and burning incense sticks, next to a black and white photograph of him from the early 1970s.
One post on a Facebook site tribute page read: "He more than anyone put Goa on the Map". Others called him "the original freak".
"Anjuna Beach has lost its Goa Hippy Tribe father!" said another. "All of us over the decades who have shared precious moments with Eddie will miss his smile, his energy, his love for Life and Dance."
"Eight Finger Eddie" was a US expat of Armenian heritage who came to Anjuna Beach in 1965 at the age of 40 and never left.
The secluded sands of north Goa became the sun-kissed final destination for the beatniks and drop-outs on the Hippie Trail from Western Europe to Asia.
With a culture based on drugs, free love and music, the hippies found the beach a haven but it has since become overcrowded, with a reputation for drug- and alcohol-fuelled excess and crime, as foreign tourism has increased.
Eddie began the popular Anjuna flea market in 1975, originally as a place for tourists to sell or exchange their belongings.
The open-air bazaar still exists but is mainly a place for tie-dyed clothing, ornaments and sometimes stolen goods.
He also ran a soup kitchen for foreign visitors who had lost their way, money - or occasionally their minds.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...