Cowboys, who are they?
The first cowboys appeared in 1865, after the American Civil War. They worked on ranches (farms), which were located in states such as Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. In summer, cattle were grazed and raised, curbed and collected in the herds of wild bulls, and in the autumn they drove them east, to the railway for sale. The path was not close, for several months the cowboys made a 2,000 km drive.
The danger was present constantly, especially during long hauls. In order to keep the herd of thousands of heads intact, the cowboy had to have the good skills of not only a shepherd, but also a guard, a professional veterinarian and an experienced tracker. They had to protect the herd from wild animals, snakes and Indians; find shelter during a rainstorm or hurricane, and even in the event of a forest fire. Any loud sound could frighten the animals; if this happened, the herd would break loose and rush, blowing everything in its path. Only truly strong and brave people could prevent dangerous chaos. And that was definitely all the cowboys.
The life of cowboys was in many ways similar to the life of Native Americans:
1) They were completely dependent on the natural food of the Great Plains.
2) They constantly moved (cowboys with the goal of herding cattle, Indians – following wild buffaloes).
3) Their food and clothing was made from products obtained from cattle (beef and skin).
4) Like the Indians, cowboys raided animals – collectively.
5) They used certain signals or gestures to communicate over long distances.
Cowboys and Indians
Cowboys and Indians
Real cowboys had to endure a lot of difficulties:
1) winter cold (during hauls)
2) danger from scared or furious cattle or horses
3) dust from hooves
4) rain, hail and the scorching sun on endless plains
5) deep rivers
6) night guards
7) raids of the Indians
8) attacks from cattle thieves
The era of cowboys did not last long, about 40 years. Rails and roads began to be laid to the most remote ranches. The need for cowboys was gradually dying out. Herds were kept in corrals fenced with wire and fed from feeders. The cowboy profession has been preserved only in some places. But they are no longer those fearless, sprawling guys. Modern cowboys are detailed, sedate people traveling in jeeps and pickups. On some ranches the process of annual driving of horses or cows is considered a very interesting event, sometimes tourists and everyone who wants to enjoy this spectacle are invited there.