Adventurous World – One Spirit Germany as guests at the Karl May Festival in Radebeul 2017
For the fourth time One Spirit Germany had the opportunity to take part in the Karl May Festival in Radebeul near Dresden, East Germany.
By now we could do the decoration of our booth with some routine. This year, it looked very inviting since our treasurer Gaby Trümper had visited the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in the summer of 2016 and she did a lot of shopping there. The Lakota sold to her earrings, necklaces and dream catchers for a good price that helped them fill their cash boxes a bit. Lots of visitors readily paid the higher prices we took for the original Native made jewelry after we explained to them that the pieces were made by Native families on the reservation and lots of them earn their living by doing so since they have no other source of income. So we had lots to offer this year, more than in the years before, but what do you expect if you tell a woman to buy lots of jewelry?
The work of art led to much communication with the visitors. Many were astonished about the vivid colors or admired the filigree making of some pieces. Some were surprised that quill was a softened and colored natural product of porcupines and not made of synthetic material.
But we did not only sell craftwork, furthermore, we had much conversation about the present situation of the Natives. Many visitors expressed their concern about the ways of the new government. Under president Trump it was not only decided right away to go on building the oil pipeline in North Dakota - which was no surprise with Trump participating financially in it – but there were also made plans to cut the social benefits of the poorest people up to 50%. And sad but true the Lakota are among these people. We noticed that many visitors were well informed. Via internet they had not only gathered news about the Lakota Oyate, the politics of the USA but also about the work of One Spirit in Pine Ridge. Therefore we were confronted with very interested, specific questions and were very glad to answer them!
We met many well-known faces and loyal visitors who had already bought some jewelry by Lakota artist Robert Lee Apple last year, and came to look for new treasures. We had to laugh when a husband, carrying the family’s wallet, wanted to sneak away from our booth, but later that day was commanded by his wife to come back and pay for her favored piece of jewelry. Well, we could make him feel better with the argument that it was for a good cause.
Right beside us Elke and Holger Zimmer from the Leonard Peltier supporting group had their booth. In quieter moments we had the opportunity to exchange experiences with them. They gave us the interesting brochure of the „Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker“ (society for threatened peoples, https://www.gfbv.de/en/) about the Indigenous protests against the oil pipeline.
But the festival wasn’t all politically and melancholic; the motto „Adventurous World“ was to bring the countries and cultures that Karl May had experienced to the visitors. For example, opposite us was an oriental bazar featuring a tent for storytelling and a theatre for shadow play. On a little stage performed Asian Indian and Balkan dancers. Very exotic and delicious food was served at the booths around the place.
This year the traditional Powwow could not take place at the „Hoher Stein“ (high rock), an impressive cliff, since a pair of peregrine falcons was raising their young ones. The place was therefore closed for everyone. For the same reason the „cowboys“ were asked to reduce the noise of their pistols – pleasing not only the falcons, but the visitors and the young One Spirit Germany dog Leon (he moved in at Katharina's place recently and did a good job attracting people). The usual thunder of the big gun could not be heard and the bank hold-up on Ford Henry happened more by men’s power instead of gun smoke.
Oneida Dancers and Translator Kerstin Groeper
The new Powwow place was in the shadow of the forest und created a comfortable, familiar atmosphere, a circumstance that did not only please the Indigenous dancers. A delegation of Oneidas and their Chief Ray Halbritter had come to show traditional and modern dances. There are not only the Oneidas, but many other tribes, for example the Lakota, who celebrate dances. In the USA there are huge Powwows, thousands of dancers starting in different categories of dance and ten thousands of visitors. The winners gain high trophy money ore prices like a horse or a car. In old days some of the dances used to be performed at the eve of a war party to mentally prepare for the fight and the step sequences haven’t changed for some hundred years. Some other dances were updated and are much faster by now. We could learn this from the chanter and drummer of the Oneida who commented the dances of his people. Author Kerstin Groeper from the „Traumfänger-Verlag“ (Dreamcatcher publishing) translated with much humor and knowledge - as she always does.
The artist Ed E. Bryant took the opportunity to introduce his nation, the Tsimshian people. We were very astonished that he told quite a lot of stories in German and by doing so allowed Kerstin Groeper to rest for a while from her translating job.
As representative of the younger generation Logan Staats, a Mohawk from Canada, was also performing. The range of his music goes from Folk to Rap so that he could please lots of people with very different tastes when it comes to music. Everyone who wants to get an imagination of his work may do this by following this link: https://soundcloud.com/logan-staats
In the evening during the „Indian Film Night“ a motion picture of Andreas Kieling about Alaska and Canada was shown. He is the best known maker of films about nature in Germany. He also acted as the official patron of the Karl May Festival and commented his movie during the presentation. Protection and conservation of nature are very dear to him, something he shares with the Indigenous peoples. His fabulous motion pictures give us the opportunity to take part in the wonder of creation and the elemental forces of nature. He sensitizes and inspires us to protect the environment and nature. Before more Native made movies were shown, visitors had the chance to take a picture of Andreas Kieling or to get an autograph.
On Sunday morning the festival started with the traditional Star Riders. Most of them had spent the night in tents near their horses in the camp of the Star Riders. They came right along our booth, so we could marvel their parade long before the other visitors could.
After that we experienced a very special surprise by Kerstin Orantek and Henry Kreul from the Karl May House Hohenstein-Ernstthal. We came into contact some years ago and since then they help to spread our One Spirit Flyers. They visited our booth and brought us a present: They got married in May, and since they left for a honeymoon right after the ceremony, they asked their guests not to give presents or flowers but a donation to One Spirit!! Sometime before we found two cash remittances with the reference to „Wedding Orantek“ on the One Spirit bank account and thought of a mistake, which it wasn't as they told as now. The brand new spouses also gave us a One Spirit donation box, the groomsman had hand crafted himself. From our hearts we showed our gratitude to the couple Orantek for this wonderful and generous idea. We are still overwhelmed that there are people who not only think of themselves on a rejoicing day but also of the benefit of others. A big „Thank You“ to the wedding guests! We got about 140 Euro that were sent to One Spirit USA for the Charging Buffalo Facility in Pine Ridge. Wopila tanka and a happy and long marriage!! ….. We, the people of One Spirit would be very delighted if this idea could find followers ….
|The happy couple||The well-filled donation box|
So we spent the Sunday in a very uplifted mood. We took turns in leaving the booth and exploring the area like Fort Henry or the Western town Little Tombstone, where the Sheriff had to balk the Locci-gang from their planned bank hold-up, where people danced in the saloon, where prospectors were looking for gold and where you could try your talent in archery.
After a long and hot day we packed our things and enjoyed our annual visit to a Chinese restaurant. (Well, Karl May never was in China himself, but many Chinese people occur in his novels.)
Once more we had a wonderful weekend, could spread information about the situation of the Lakota and the hardships of their lives to many visitors. We would like to say „Thank You“ for interesting conversations, exited discussions, new acquaintances, many questions and new ideas. A special "Thank you" goes to the Office of Cultural Activities Radebeul with the director of market Herr Jeschick for his wonderful support and the great and straightforward collaboration!! We are looking forward to the Karl May Festival in 2018!
|Katharina talking to visitor||Our booth||Pictures from the rez||Interested visitor||Unser Stand||Unser Standhund|
|Karl May||Logan Staats||Oneidas + Logan Staats||Oneida dancers||Visitors at our booth||There is nothing more to be said .....|