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

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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.

Images bypixel0908, licensed under Creative Commons.

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