This year One Spirit Germany had the opportunity to take part in the Borsdorf Country and Western days in Borsdorf near Leipzig in Eastern Germany.
Since we did not have a stall we organized a pavilion in a nice “Lakota Red”. The preparations needed quite a while: we updated the information maps with the latest pictures from the reservation, prepared some posters about the programs of One Spirit for the pavilion, provided jewelry and asked many sponsors to donate prizes for our raffle.
We would like to thank especially Steffen Dorfmann for establishing a contact to the host of the Country Days and organizing a lot of wonderful prizes for the raffle.
The last challenge during our preparation work was getting the whole stuff into the car of chairwoman of One Spirit Germany, Katharina Schacht, as there was the pavilion, 6 boxes of raffle prizes, flyers, buttons, jewelry, decorations, info maps and camping gear. It all fit marvelously into her small Ford Ka, thanks to her professional loading technique.
When arriving at the former harness racing track in Panitzsch many merchants where already setting up their stalls. The participants of the international championship in archery by horse where building the courses. We got a place right at the counterpart of the tipi of Chief 7 Feathers and friends. Later, after Katharina had unloaded a part of the things stuffed in her car, she went to the train station in Leipzig to pick up One Spirit Germany member Barbara Kull from there.
While the ladies started to prepare the stall with jewelry, flyers and info maps, Steffen and Detlev built a nice shelf for the raffle prizes. The host provided us with tables and benches, so we had a comfortable lounge for our visitors.
Friday night was quiet, so we soon retired in our tents. Although the area in the woods was beautiful and kind of romantic it was very cold and moist, too – nothing a real Indian friend can’t stand.
The programs started early on Saturday morning. More and more visitors gathered to enjoy live Country music and line dance, Western riding and championships in archery by horse. Visitors could try to use the bows themselves. Many kids had fun riding horses or climbing courses.
Chief 7 Feathers and friends – Mama Bear and her family from Röderau – presented Indian dances, artistry and games for the children. It was wonderfully featured with an eagle dance and a danced bear hunt. Cultural background of the Lakota life was presented and the splendid Lakota regalia could be marveled. At the presentation’s end the German “Indians” lead the attention to our stall informing the interested visitors about the poor situation of the “real” Indians, the Lakota people at Pine Ridge. One of the hosts, Mr. Schimmel, advertised our stand and the raffle so many visitors made their way to us.
The raffle turned out to be a great success. We sold one ticket for 2 Euros, 3 tickets for 5 Euros. Every ticket won a prize. There were torches, books, jewelry, hats in Western style, toys, tea packages, watches, pens, air beds and much more. The main prizes were free tickets for the outdoor stage in Rathen and the Karl May museum in Radebeul, a one year subscription for a magazine about American history, a longboard and helmet, tickets for a Christmas revue in Halle, a wading pool and ski goggles.
The raffle was well received since every ticket won and people had a chance to do something good at the same time. Many people bought more than one ticket and brought new people to us. Especially the men were happy to win a cowboy hat. We often used the opportunity to talk to the people about the work of One Spirit and to give them our flyer.
There were quite some guys who were interested in the jewelry crafted by Lakota artist Robert Lee Apple. We also sold the daisy-chain bracelets Lakota Indian Francis Pine had crafted that Jeri Baker from One Spirit USA had sent to us. The beautiful earrings from One Spirit Germany’s treasurer Gabriela Trümper found admiration, too.
Since we were only two people at this time, we could hardly leave our stand to walk along the festival to examine the others stands and stalls and to make some contacts. You could find everything for fans of Western articles, clothing and even colts could be bought. Well, we preferred Gaby's replica of a Lakota war-club that could be examined at our stand. Many male mail visitors liked to be photographed while holding it. The women admired Gaby's beaded pipe bag and also the artfully beaded dog blanket. This lead to many conversations about the rich Indian cultures, the poor situation of today and the work of One Spirit.
In the evening, our merchant colleagues also came over to buy some tickets and we enjoyed the cheerful mood and the general cooperativeness. We then had some time to enjoy a beer and the line dancers.
The Sunday was quite hot, so ice cream helped us to carry on. Again we had many interested visitors, sold many tickets and gave away many flyers from the Karl May museum and “dreamcatcher publishing”. In the early evening we packed all our things that had become very dusty. Since we had not sold all tickets we had to pack many prizes back into the Ford Ka which was not easy to do. One merchant helped us by transporting some of our stuff to Dresden.
Generally spoken, the weekend was very successful for us. We made many contacts and spread a lot of information about One Spirit. Through the raffle we got a nice amount of donations for the programs of One Spirit.
Our sincere thanks go to:
Our host, Mr. Uwe Schimmel, the team of the friends' association for handicraft and preservation of ancient monuments in Trebsen for providing the stand and his help – we will gladly come back!
Wopila tanka to Steffen Dorfmann and „his“ Iris for their help and collaboration in collecting raffle prizes and giving away our flyers.
Many thanks to our sponsors, Mr. Gärtner from the outdoor stage in Rathen for providing tickets as raffle prizes, to Mrs. Barnitzke from the Karl May museum for tickets to the museum, to Mr. Joachim Schacht from “Tea can” in Radebeul for the tea packages, to Mrs Leonhardt from “nature cosmetics” in Dresden, to the Gröper-Schmäling family from “dreamcatcher publishing” for their books, to “Spiel&Schreib” (play and write) Woigk in Dresden for donating toys for the raffle and to Steffi and Werner Schacht in Dresden for prizes and making the tickets. WOPILA TANKA! Their help will contribute to improve the life of Lakota people at Pine Ridge in South Dakota at least a bit!
More pictures of the event:
|Promotion of Western events||Our stall||Mama Bear visiting us||Steffen Dorfmann visiting us||A place to rest and get information|
|Briefing pack||Indians in Borsdorf||Band in Borsdorf||Linedancers||Our stall|
Please click on the photos to enlarge them