24th Karl May Festival in Radebeul 2015 themed "Peace on Earth"
This year Cowboys and Indians rode their horses again through the Lößnitz ground in Radebeul. One Spirit Germany was invited to be part of it for the second time.
Once more our members came from all parts of Germany and some of them first met for a walk through Altkötzschenbroda, a historic village close to Radebeul, along groups of happy and loud men feasting Ascension Day (the German “father’s day”). After that, the they went to the historic center of Dresden (finally visiting the “Frauenkirche”, a famous church in the city of Dresden which was only recently rebuilt after its total destruction during WWII). In the evening we enjoyed a tasty and very hot Asian curry lovely prepared by our cashier Gaby Trümper. In the late evening our second chairman Bryan Liers joined the feast.
On Friday morning we discussed some organizational matters, updated our info map and admired our merchandise, which were buttons and flyers. Barbara unpacked two big bags she had brought to Dresden by Bus: an accumulation of minerals and selected semi-precious stones her brother had given to her. Maybe we might use them somehow.
Then we drove to Radebeul to look for our stall. Again the organizers of the Karl May festival had given us a sturdy one and we started decorating it with info material, skillfully beaded Lakota articles like moccasins and bags that Gaby Trümper had manufactured elaborately herself. This year we offered a lot of jewelries handcrafted by Lakota artist Robert Lee Apple. He is a close friend to our member Ralf Strohmeier. Our ambition was to use his handcrafts to show examples of the rich culture of the Lakota people to the visitors and to gather donations for One Spirit. During the day our member Monika also arrived at Radebeul and completed our team. Monika brought self-made necklaces with medicine wheels, the symbol for the four cardinal directions and a painting of a Lakota Star Quilt, which completed our decoration marvelously. Our stall was now finished professionally and turned out to be an eye catcher, so we left to have our annual general meeting at one of the guesthouses.
In 21st century style, the absent members joined us via Skype. Our member Michael Hundt led circumspectly through the assembly and we discussed all points of our agenda. The check of our financial matters and conscientious work of our cashier Gaby was done quickly. We decided to found a regulars’ table via Skype to join all members and interested folks frequently. After the meeting, a few of us watched a film at the open air cinema at the festival which was made by members of the Oneida nation who also joined the festival.
Those of us having guest houses near the festival started early on Saturday morning to open our stall while the others made some last errands. The first visitors to visit us came from the Groeper-Schmäling family who run the “Dreamcatcher publishing house” (Traumfänger Verlag).
This year the festival did not host any South American Indians but a bazaar with oriental storytelling, songs and dances to show the other world Karl May’s books deal with. An actor portraying Karl May told about May’s journeys followed by dancers from Anatolia and storytellers from Persia. We could watch this easily from our stall, by just having to look across the street. In the sense of international understanding – as the motto of the year was “Peace on Earth” – we tried different oriental delicacies like merguez (a very spicy sausage made of lamb and originating from Northern Africa) and found it very exquisite.
Many interested visitors came to our stall and a lot of them could not believe the poor circumstances of living the Lakota have to deal with on the reservation. We gathered quite an amount of donations. Robert Lee Apple’s handcrafted earrings found much admiration. His quilled earrings as well as the photos of the artist were examined with much interest. Gaby’s artfully beaded moccasins were often admired too; she could have sold them more than once. However, they were only on display to demonstrate the art and culture of the Lakota people and hence unsalable.
The minerals Barbara had brought along where much sought after and we could sell some of them too. The amount of donations we gathered grew and grew.
Our member Monika having a vivid interest in Indigenous films – from, with or about Native Americans – had made a poster presenting the most important films like “Smoke Signals”, “Older Than America”, “Windtalkers” to name a few. The poster attracted much attention and led to interesting discussions about the films and suggestions which other films should have been on the list as well. Some visitors were well informed and we had some good conversations.
We enjoyed talking to Mr. Schmäling of the “Dreamcatcher publishing house” as well. His wife, author and Lakota friend Kerstin Groeper moderated and translated at the Powwow of the Oneida group, thus hardly finding time to relax. She explained the meaning of the clothes and dances of the Oneida to the visitors and translated during the concert of the Native Canadian Band “Digging Roots”, performing a beautiful mix of folk, rock and traditional music.
Representatives of the Karl-May-House in Hohenstein-Ernstthal came more than once to have a chat with us. It was good to renew contacts we had made the year before.
Since the weather got cool and wet in the evening we did not join the Indian film night, instead decided to be back at our stall in the early Sunday morning. The traditional parade of star-riders came along our way. One of them was Steffen Dorfmann, a supporter of One Spirit Germany who rode with his riding association in the parade.
During Sunday we had many good conversations and found some time to walk through the area to see Fort Henry or the Western village „Little Tombstone“. At the stall of the Karl May museum from Radebeul we had the chance to express our thanks for their support by presenting our flyers in the museum.
But we had to take care. Everywhere there were outlaws, colts were being shot and the train was robbed – good luck the cavalry was there too, so passengers were saved and did not lose the gold they had found in creek named “Lößnitzbach”. In our stall we felt quite safe since Gaby had brought along a replica of a Lakota stone club that could well be seen. It looked so terrifying no hoodlum dared to come close.
Some members had left us during the day so after a long and successful day Bryan, Gaby and Katharina cleaned up the stall.
We had a very successful weekend full of many experiences, had good conversations, made new contacts and hope to make more of it in the future. Many thanks to all the members of One Spirit Germany that contributed to the event by giving away flyers, answering 1000 questions, selling jewelries and just showing their presence at our stall – their way to help make the Karl-May-festival a success. And many thanks to all the helpers in the background too, for their preparations and support.
A special and warm „Wopila Tanka“ goes to the team of Organization of the Karl-May-festival Radebeul as there are Mrs. Bielig, Mr. Lange and Mr. Raeder and especially to Mr. Jeschick who granted us a stall with electrical connection at no cost!! We will be happy to come back again!
Some impressions of the Karl-May-Festival
| Our stall
|Earrings by Robert Lee Apple|
|Paintings by Robert Lee Apple|
|"Digging Roots" performing||
Ron Patterson explains how to make a Lacrosse stick, Kerstin Groeper of Dreamcatcher publishing house is translating
Group of Oneidas with players of the