The Plot Thickens: Now it's the Austrians Dressing up as Native Americans

| 5/7/2009 2:26:06 PM

In our International Issue, we asked the age-old question: Why do 40,000 Germans spend their weekends dressed as Native Americans? We know this much: it has something to do with Karl May, the best-selling German author of all time.

In Der Indianer, reprinted from Alberta Views, we learn that "in 1892, May published the first of many books about a fictional Apache warrior named Winnetou and his German blood brother, Old Shatterhand. The two men roamed the North American plains, using their nearly superhuman powers to fight off the land-hungry government and thuggish, violent pioneers."

Now we've stumbled upon photographs from a Karl May festival in Austria. Whatever it is that is happening here, it seems to be spreading.

Der Indianer One

Der Indianer Two

Der Indianer Three