A Star Trek Convention for Native Enthusiasts: Inside a German Pow Wow
Some historical facts were presented or explained at the pow wow, but much of it was slanted to showcase the reason for such hobbyist “reenactments,” particularly the misinformation that Natives were sinking into extinction—these hobbyists were said to be trying to keep the spirit of those past noble people alive.
All this reminded me of an article in ICTMN 14 years ago. Lindbergh Namingha, a member of Hopi tribe who lived in Germany, wrote of the hobbyists, “They are like a living museum and I find it very offensive, especially when they refuse to let true American Indians participate in their events. They say we’re too modern and believe we’ve lost our Native Americanness. They can’t seem to understand that our culture, just like theirs, has evolved from the 17th century to the 21st."
RELATED: American Indians Abound in Germany
With the bluntness of youth, my 16-year-old son put it another way: “It is not their culture. They are stealing from others, but don’t want to admit it. That’s why they didn’t want us there, because they know we know what they are doing is wrong.”
This hadn’t been a pow-wow. It had been the meeting of a fan club and its admirers in no way different than enthusiasts of Star Trek. Those activities are based on fantasy worlds and people. Native Americans are real, and have a present and future, not just a past.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page