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Tracing Karl May


25.10.2012-13.10.2013 / Location: Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Betlémské nám. 1, Praha 1

The exhibition brings the basic information on the arduous life of the famous author and, above all, it depicts his traces in our country.

The core of the exhibition is formed by May´s novelistic work, which has lived in the form of books, films, as well as in peculiar manifestations of the popular cult. The exhibition is divided into two geographical parts: The first part, entitled "With a tomahawk and lasso" focuses on the area of North America, with a detour to South America. The other part, entitled "Under a turban and fez", presents the Muslim world from the Sahara, across Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey to the Balkans.

The visitors of the exhibition will be introduced the characters of May´s novels, brave Indians, trappers, Bedouins, Kurds and other heroes, as well as lousy villains, slavers, traitors and murderers. Real objects from Indian cultures and the Oriental world, which also played a significant role in May´s works, are to be seen there too. Alike, the visitors can see books and illustrations, entertain themselves with jokes dealing with May themes and bizarre manifestations of the cult sometimes almost reaching the edge of hysteria that appeared in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s through 1980s.

The visitors will see:

  • The largest and the smallest rendering of Old Shatterhand and Winnetou
  • The most famous weapons of the world – Old Shatterhand´s Bear Killer and Winnetou´s Silver Rifle
  • Kara ben Nemsi’s  “magic" bullet, which was moulded at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences

The visitors will play pathfinders, attack an Indian patrol, create their own Indian name or test their knowledge of the works written by the famous author.
They will learn different languages Karl May’s works have been translated into, or, respectively, they may attempt to identify them.

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