German tourists and Indian Country

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Thu Aug 5 14:08:16 MDT 1999

On further comments from previous comments on this subject, I should note
that the fascination of SOME Germans with Indigenous Cultures, and the
motives behind such fascination go far back to the very early 1900s and the
formation of the Thule Society, an anti-Semitic "Nordic-Aryan" society of
which Hitler was later a member and under its influence.

Interestingly the Thule Society, an anti-Semitic group, was initially formed
by renegade Freemasons and even some Jews were involved in its formation. It
took its name from Thule, Greenland which is generally aknowledged as the
center or origination heartland of Inuit Peoples and cultures. Why, you ask,
would anti-Semites and "Nordic-Aryan" types be interested in Inuit Peoples
and Cultures? Well, among the Inuit, who have remained among the most
insulated from contact with non-Inuit among Indigenous Peoples in general,
they have 103 words for "snow" but only one word for human beings--"Inuit".
They have no words for white people, red people, black people, yellow people
etc. This is partly due to their isolation but also due to general
consciousness--human beings are human beings and color differences are
incidental not fundamental.

But the  Inuit of Greenland had the most contact of any of the Inuit with
whites and they are the most assimilated and "Christianized" among the Inuit
in general. Well the Inuit had a festival known as the "Lantern Festival"
which celebrates these non-Inuit strangers visiting and crude
interpretations of their festival rites and songs has been taken to
interpret the Lantard Festival as a celebration of being visited by white
Nordic Gods from the heavens and that the "Nordic-Aryan" types were destined
to be the Gods and rulers of the earth. (there are some other variations in
interpretations as well).

So these Thule Society types developed their own rituals, supposedly
celebrating "Nordic-Aryan" "pagan rites and rituals" (also common among
Hitler's SS) that supposedly paralleled the "pagan" rites and rituals of the
Inuit said to be heavily cross-fertilized/influenced with those of the
"Nordic-Aryan" Gods who visited the Inuit. From there they evolved a whole
program and "theology" of anti-Semitism, "return to pure nature", curiosity
about the "pure" and "primitive" savages "close/closest to nature" etc...

Today, in Germany, among some--and I am not saying that all German tourists
fall into the Thule-influenced category--they hold "Festivals of Savages"
and "Indian Festivals" at which they dress up, dance, eat and whatever
according to their own stereotypes and caricatures of Indigenous cultures;
big money is paid to participate in these "festivals" and for tours to "live
like the savages" in Indian Country. Cash-poor and sell-out Indians often
cater to these groups and there are some proven parallels between the
organized and  "sex tours" of Asia--popular among groups seeking the
"exotic" in Germany and other European/Asian countries--and the types of
people who participate in these groups going to Indian Country. In order to
make contacts in normally insulated Indian Country, and to arrange mutually
profitable exchanges, some of these tour groups hide under the fronts of
"Issue Groups" purporting to write advocacy polemics and "studies" of
Indigenous Cultures in order to "preserve" them from encroachment from the
outside non-Indian world (this adds to the marketability of the tours as the
tourists seeking contacts with  "real savages" are in the hands of
individuals purporting to be in contact with--in order to "preserve"--the
"real savages" they are seeking.

To add to their "credibility" and name recognition, and to leverage their
standing (someone with an email account suddenly becomes a whole
organization or a UN-NGO writing on various listservs on various issues and
then using the responses as "evidence"--leverage-- of standing and stature
among Indigenous Peoples in order to leverage "standing and stature" among
the German tourists seeking the "authenitc") they will self-publish some
illiterate tract with a high-sounding title on Indigenous Issues, put out a
webpage and self-declare themselves to be researchers and advocates on
Indigenous issues and cultures.
What is really going on is attempted penetration of Indigenous Cultures or
sell-outs within them to leverage credibility, access, contacts and profits
through "cultural exchanges" between certain selected self-declared
representatives of "authentic" Indigenous Cultures and the tourists seeking
the "authentic" walk on the "exotic" side.

Jim Craven

James Craven
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. 98663
(360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
blkfoot5 at
*My Employer Has No Association With My Private/Protected Opinion*

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