People are on the whole entirely unpredictable, a fact that political pollsters down the years are all to familiar with. So in some senses the strange obsessions that can be found in particular nations shouldn’t really be that surprising – but in many cases they just are.
Take for example the very strong affinity that many Germans seem to have with native Americans and their lives. An obsession that means than many Germans dress in homemade deerskin outfits and have errected tipis in their back gardens. The same Germans have adopted Indian names, although usually only used at the weekends or at festivals.
There are many native American festivals held every year in Germany. Huge affairs with reneactments, Germans drinking firewater, wearing Indian jewelery and dressed as Apaches, Navaho and Comanches. All of these festivals were founded, established and run by people with no native American heritage at all, they are just ordinary citizens from Hamburg to Dresden.
There are about 400 clubs across the country which cater to this interest, all focused on allowing ordinary Germans to live just a small part of their lives as if they were on the North American plateaus about 150 years ago. How are these for names – Wild West Club, Cheyenne Indian Club and the Cowboy Club of Munich. It’s not just a new interest either, the aforementioned Munich club was established about 100 years ago and goes from strength to strength.
The phenomenon was recently covered in a fascinating piece and an accompanying documentary in Der Spiegel. It was also available on the German TV networks if you search although you will need a German proxy to find it – try this one for starters http://thenewproxies.com/german-proxy/. This is because they don’t allow anyone who doesn’t have an IP address from outside Germany to access their stations.
Opinion is slightly divided on this within the Native American societies in the US. Some are not entriely happy with their customs, history and lifestyles being portrayed as a hobby or pastime for Europeans. However the majority are in favour with many tribes actively reaching out to an audience genuinely sympathetic to their lives and problems.