The word "cowboy" is fixed in English since 1725. It meant the rider hired to watch over the herd. During the time of the American Revolution (1775–1783), the word sounded…

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Сowboy tradition
It so happened that the unprecedented popularity of Winnethe (the first volume of the trilogy was written in 1893) coincided with the discovery (or creation) of the idealized cowboy of…

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Experienced cowboy
So why did it take a dramatic increase in the number of shepherds? The fact is that grass grew on the endless plains of the West, which easily tolerated not…

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Brutal beauties in hats

Brutal beauties in hats, with careless cigarettes in the corner of their mouth, hung with rings, a lasso and riding on tamed mustangs – this is how we imagine cowboys, dashing guys from the Wild West, the dream of young ladies from the saloon and not only. But what really? In fact, it turns out that the real Texas cowboys oh, how far from the image, brilliantly created by Hollywood Westerns.

In everyday life, real cowboys had much less romance, heroism and gloss. And shots from revolvers, by the way, too. The myth with the participation of macho European appearance, created by producers and become part of American culture, has little to do with prototypes from life. To begin with, about a third of the cowboys were hired from freed slaves, that is, they were dark-skinned, and a quarter were recruited from the Indians.

A cowboy earned about $ 25 a month, and often he simply could not afford a firearm. In those days, revolvers were too heavy to constantly carry them on their hips. Moreover, the film classics loved by the audience – shooting from two barrels at the same time – would be impossible: for each shot from a colt, both hands had to be used.

Mass shooting in saloons with mountains of corpses is also a fiction. The cartridges then began with smoky gunpowder, and after the first shots the entire room of the saloon would be shrouded in a thick veil. For targeted shooting from a long distance and at moving targets, the weapons of that era were not suitable, you could get out of it with just a few steps. The rare cowboys who could afford to have a revolver used it to shoot in the air, controlling the herd.

Sadly, America has never been a cowboy country. If the cowboys had organized a union, it would have consisted of only 20 thousand people – the representatives of the profession were so few. They were horse shepherds whom wealthy farmers hired to drive cattle to the northwestern states. Therefore, the image of a free and independent adventurer fades before reality.

The cowboy’s life was hard and full of worries about his daily bread. Drivers of cattle lasted from several months to a year, and all this time the shepherds led a half-starved existence. They hardly had enough money and time for alcohol, as well as for regular fights in saloons. Since many of them were Indians themselves, of course, the cowboys did not engage in battles with the indigenous population. On the contrary, they bought food and clothing from them.

It often happened that unemployed white Americans were employed in cowboys, even more often – criminals who traded robbery and murder. Respectable residents were afraid of them and avoided them.

The era of cowboys began in the second half of the 19th century, and by the beginning of the 20th century it was almost over. However, already in the 1920-30s, Hollywood skillfully set to work, and very quickly the tradition of romanticizing the image of a nomadic shepherd appeared. The myth was fueled by country music, movies, comics – and now the whole world is “hooked” on the stories of courageous heroes, women’s favorites and an example for boys.

Over time, jeans and plaid shirts were added to the image of cowboys, commercials with their participation broke records. The poor mercenary turned into a tough character and a popular archetype and a symbol of the whole country.

Cowboys of Our Time
Now the passion for cowboys has subsided. Quentin Tarantino’s recent film stirred a wave of excitement, but not for long. Nevertheless, in the state of Montana, the Mantle family maintains the traditions of the Wild West, and today is engaged in cattle driving.

The Mantles-based Montana Horses annually drives about 300 horses from winter pastures to a family ranch of over 200 hectares. The path is about 55 kilometers, which modern cowboys overcome in three days. After being delivered to the ranch, horses work in agriculture and ride guests in national parks.

So early to hang your nose, fans of nomadic romance! The extinct culture continues to live, and in the best case. “The Last of the Mohicans,” the Mantle family and their employees, are doing everything so that America does not remain without real cowboys, and the world without a legend.

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