The Outside Prognosticator: Germanimo!

Outside magazine, January 1996


The Outside Prognosticator: Germanimo!


Why is this tribal clan looking so...Teutonic? Because they're Indianers, part of a 100,000-strong German subculture whose members play-act the lifestyle of North American Indians. Inspired by the nineteenth-century pulp novels of Karl May (whose fictional German hero, old Shatterhand, traveled the West with an Indian sidekick named Winnetou) and their own fan publication, Das indianermagazin, Indianers are swarming into North American "culture camps," privately run, Indian-owned dude ranches where wannabes dress in war bonnets and snooze in teepees. Ironically, real Indians in Canada and the United States, who often scowl when New Agers swipe their spiritual practices, tend to welcome the Aryan imports. "If you want a generic New Age fantasy experience, I don't want you," says Will Tsosie, a Navajo who runs a culture camp near Arizona's Canyon de Chelly. "Indianers do their homework and are here for the real thing. That's what I like."

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