Cowboys - HISTORY
Fort Worth, Texas, is cowboy country and its men are not your typical city lads. Think ranches, trucks, stockyards, rodeos and honky tonks (dance halls). Open your truck door for your date, pull out her chair for her at dinner. A secondary school revision resource for GCSE History about school history projects, When cattle ranching declined in importance, many cowboys ended up. A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on Over the centuries, differences in terrain, climate and the influence of cattle-handling traditions from multiple cultures created several distinct styles.
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Cowboys herded and rounded up livestock that were transported by rail around the country for sale. To distinguish what cattle belonged to which ranch, cowboys would brand the animals by burning a special mark into their hides. It took between eight and 12 cowboys to move 3, head of cattle along cattle drives.
Barbed Wire By the time the Civil War ended inthe Union Army had largely used up the supply of beef in the North, increasing the demand for beef. The expansion of the meat-packing industry also encouraged consumption of beef. Bymillions of heads of longhorn cattle were rounded up and driven toward railroad depots.
Ranching continued to be widespread through the late s. But by the s, most of the land became privatized after feuds over land ownership were settled and the use of barbed wire became widespread. During the winter ofthousands of cattle died when temperatures reached well below freezing in parts of the West.
By the late s, lack of grazing pastures and bad weather led to a massive drop in cattle numbers. Wanting to protect their own herds, ranchers and farmers began fencing off their land with barbed wire to keep the cattle from roaming.
This way they could keep track of their own cattle and ensure their land didn't become overgrazed. These fenced-in, self-contained ranches became the modern ranches of today.
Modern ranches operate like efficient machines -- miles of fencing, irrigation systems, corrals for holding sheep and cattle, loading chutes and trailers. The cattle drives of yesteryear -- when cowboys would round up and physically lead a herd from one location to another -- are slowly dying out.
These days, ranchers typically move cattle via truck and trailer.
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Some ranches use traditional cattle drives as a tourist attraction instead. The average cowboy earned approximately a dollar a day, plus food, and, when near the home ranch, a bed in the bunkhouseusually a barracks -like building with a single open room.
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Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self-dependence and individualismwith great value put on personal honesty, exemplified in songs and poetry.
Though anti-sodomy laws were common in the Old West, they often were only selectively enforced. Western lifestyle The traditions of the working cowboy were further etched into the minds of the general public with the development of Wild West Shows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which showcased and romanticized the life of both cowboys and Native Americans.
In some cases, the cowboy and the violent gunslinger are often associated with one another. On the other hand, some actors who portrayed cowboys promoted positive values, such as the "cowboy code" of Gene Autrythat encouraged honorable behavior, respect and patriotism.
DeArment draws a connection between the popularized Western code and the stereotypical rowdy cowboy image to that of the "subculture of violence" of drovers in Old West Texas, that was influenced itself by the Southern code duello. However most armed conflicts occurred between Native people and cavalry units of the U. Relations between cowboys and Native Americans were varied but generally not particularly friendly.
In the s, for example, the Comanche created problems in Western Texas. In reality, working ranch hands past and present had very little time for anything other than the constant, hard work involved in maintaining a ranch. Cowgirls Rodeo Cowgirl by C. Russell Fannie Sperry SteeleChampion lady bucking horse rider, Winnipeg Stampede, The history of women in the west, and women who worked on cattle ranches in particular, is not as well documented as that of men.
However, institutions such as the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame have made significant efforts in recent years to gather and document the contributions of women.
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However women did considerable ranch work, and in some cases especially when the men went to war or on long cattle drives ran them. There is little doubt that women, particularly the wives and daughters of men who owned small ranches and could not afford to hire large numbers of outside laborers, worked side by side with men and thus needed to ride horses and be able to perform related tasks. The largely undocumented contributions of women to the west were acknowledged in law; the western states led the United States in granting women the right to vote, beginning with Wyoming in While impractical for everyday work, the sidesaddle was a tool that gave women the ability to ride horses in "respectable" public settings instead of being left on foot or confined to horse-drawn vehicles.
Following the Civil WarCharles Goodnight modified the traditional English sidesaddle, creating a western-styled design. The traditional charras of Mexico preserve a similar tradition and ride sidesaddles today in charreada exhibitions on both sides of the border.
It wasn't until the advent of Wild West Shows that "cowgirls" came into their own. These adult women were skilled performers, demonstrating riding, expert marksmanship, and trick roping that entertained audiences around the world.
Women such as Annie Oakley became household names. Byskirts split for riding astride became popular, and allowed women to compete with the men without scandalizing Victorian Era audiences by wearing men's clothing or, worse yet, bloomers. In the movies that followed from the early 20th century on, cowgirls expanded their roles in the popular culture and movie designers developed attractive clothing suitable for riding Western saddles.
Independently of the entertainment industry, the growth of rodeo brought about the rodeo cowgirl. In the early Wild West shows and rodeos, women competed in all events, sometimes against other women, sometimes with the men. Cowgirls such as Fannie Sperry Steele rode the same "rough stock" and took the same risks as the men and all while wearing a heavy split skirt that was more encumbering than men's trousers and competed at major rodeos such as the Calgary Stampede and Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Afterwhen Eastern promoters started staging indoor rodeos in places like Madison Square Garden, women were generally excluded from the men's events and many of the women's events were dropped.
Also, the public had difficulties with seeing women seriously injured or killed, and in particular, the death of Bonnie McCarroll at the Pendleton Round-Up led to the elimination of women's bronc riding from rodeo competition. There also are all-women rodeos where women compete in bronc ridingbull riding and all other traditional rodeo events. However, in open rodeos, cowgirls primarily compete in the timed riding events such as barrel racingand most professional rodeos do not offer as many women's events as men's events.
Cowboy - Wikipedia
Boys and girls are more apt to compete against one another in all events in high-school rodeos as well as O-Mok-See competition, where even boys can be seen in traditionally "women's" events such as barrel racing. Outside of the rodeo world, women compete equally with men in nearly all other equestrian events, including the Olympicsand western riding events such as cuttingreiningand endurance riding.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cowgirls. Today's working cowgirls generally use clothing, tools and equipment indistinguishable from that of men, other than in color and design, usually preferring a flashier look in competition.