A roadside attraction in the desolate region would be strange enough, but at a juncture on the way to Kistanje I saw something even stranger: a tiny imitation Wild West ghost town, complete with teepees, an imitation saloon, and a makeshift steakhouse/souvenir shop. As we slowly drove past the bizarre spectacle, we wondered whether it was a desperate attempt at a tourist trap, or if it was sort of subtle protest camp.
Viktor’s first reaction was that it was a celebration of the 1963 film Winnetou, a German-Yugoslavian produced Western (Burek Western?) adapted from the works of Karl May.
The eponymous Winnetou is one of May’s main protagonists, an Apache chief who struggles to keep his morality and humanity amongst the capitalist hedonism of American expansion. Filmed in nearby Krka National Park, it’s possible the proprietors of Apache village were hoping to lure some May-loving German tourists their way. On the other hand, Viktor speculated that the synchronicities of the genocide of the American Indians, the ethnic cleansing of Croatian Serbians, and the added element of glib German tourists were perhaps not lost on the locals.