Author(s): Clemens Marschall and Kurt Prinz
An "Indian" knows no pain and is true to his word. The "red man" is spiritual, proud, fearless-and never laughs. Stereotypes about Native Americans have established themselves in the collective memory of Central European society since the nineteenth century. These myths-reinforced especially by Karl May novels, Buffalo Bill Wild West shows, or Western films-are, however, contrary to the history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, as well as to the conditions today on reservations. For the project I Am an Indian the photographer Kurt Prinz and the journalist Clemens Marschall visited a variety of hobbyists' "Indian cultures" in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. The "Indian" identities experienced there could hardly be more diverse, as they range from historically precise reenactments, to esoteric interpretations in the field of self-help, to playful weekend activities for the whole family. Here is a view into an eccentric subculture.