“Hobbyists” have an interesting approach to enjoying a culture not their own. They capture and cage it—feasting on the traditions of the “other” with ravenous delight. Not unlike like collecting spoons or stamps, these western European aficionados collect Indigenous North American customs like, well, it’s a “hobby.”
You can therefore imagine how curious it must be to be a Canadian Cree living in Germany, witnessing ersatz Natives donning braids, building tipis, and joining drum circles acting the very image of the mystical, stoic Indian. Filmmaker Howie Summers, however disquieted, has produced a short documentary, Indianer, giving an up-front view of who the hobbyists are, and more importantly, what feeds their fascination.
By seeing and listening to the bare-chested, feathered and oh-so-Aryan Germans playing Indians, the viewer is left dumbfounded at their naiveté and disgusted by their hubris. Some of these folks really do believe they make superior Indians.
For a good debate on the subject, see Orthodox Wannabe League Considers Themselves Indian. For more on the subject, see Indian Wannabes.