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Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. A cowboy never betrays a trust. He never goes back on his word. A cowboy always tells the truth. A cowboy is kind and gentle to small children, old folks, and animals. A cowboy is free from racial and religious intolerances.

What is a Cowboy? (National Day of the Cowboy)

A cowboy is always helpful when someone is in trouble. A cowboy is always a good worker. A cowboy is clean about his person in thought, word, and deed. A cowboy is a Patriot. Be truthful at all times. Your parents are the best friends you have. Listen to them and obey their instructions. If you want to be respected, you must respect others. Show good manners in every way. Only through hard work and study can you succeed. Your good deeds always come to light. If you waste time or money today, you will regret it tomorrow.

Practice thrift in all ways. Many animals are good and loyal companions. Be friendly and kind to them. A strong, healthy body is a precious gift.

Be neat and clean. Observe them carefully. Children in many foreign lands are less fortunate than you. I will obey my parents. They DO know best. I will be neat and clean at all times. I will be polite and courteous. I will protect the weak and help them. I will study hard. I will be kind to animals and care for them. I will respect my flag and my country. That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world. That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right. That a man should make the most of what equipment he has. That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number. That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever. I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man. Be courteous and polite. The word "cowboy" first appeared in the English language about —25 C. A main difference between "vaquero" and "cowboy" is that the Spanish term lacks an implication of youth. Because of the time and physical ability needed to develop necessary skills, the American cow "boy" often began his career as an adolescent, earning wages as soon as he had enough skill to be hired, often as young as 12 or In the United States, a few women also took on the tasks of ranching and learned the necessary skills, though the "cowgirl" did not become widely recognized or acknowledged until the close of the nineteenth century.

The Spanish cowboy tradition developed with the hacienda system of medieval Spain. This style of cattle ranching spread throughout much of the Iberian peninsula and was later exported to the Americas.

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Both regions possessed a dry climate with sparse grass, and thus large herds of cattle required vast amounts of land in order to obtain sufficient forage. The need to cover distances greater than a person on foot could manage gave rise to the development of the horseback-mounted vaquero. During the sixteenth century, Spanish settlers brought their cattle-raising traditions as well as their horses and cattle to the Americas, starting with their arrival in what today is Mexico and Florida.

The traditions of Spain were transformed by the geographic, environmental and cultural circumstances of New Spain, which later became Mexico and the southwestern United States. Most of these vaqueros were men of mestizo and Native American origin, while most of the hacendados owners were ethnically Spanish. As English-speaking traders and settlers moved into the Western United States, English and Spanish traditions and culture merged to some degree, with the vaquero tradition providing the foundation of the American cowboy.

Before the Mexican American War in , New England merchants who traveled by ship to California encountered both hacendados and vaqueros, trading manufactured goods for the hides and tallow produced from vast cattle ranches. American traders along with what later became known as the Santa Fe Trail had similar contacts with vaquero life. Starting with these early encounters, the lifestyle and language of the vaquero began a transformation which merged with English cultural traditions and produced what became known in American culture as the "cowboy.

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By the s, railroads had expanded to cover most of the nation, making long cattle drives from Texas to the railheads in Kansas unnecessary. The invention of barbed wire allowed cattle to be confined to designated acreage to prevent overgrazing of the range, which had resulted in widespread starvation, particularly during the harsh winter of Hence, the age of the open range was gone and large cattle drives were over.

Smaller cattle drives continued at least into the s, as ranchers, prior to the development of the modern cattle truck, still needed to herd cattle to local railheads for transport to stockyards and packing plants. Cowboys ranked low in the social structure of the period, and there are no firm figures as to their ethnicity. Anglos, Mexicans, Native Americans, freed Negro slaves, and men of mixed blood were certainly among them. Texas produced the greatest number of white cowboys, probably accounting for the plurality.

It is estimated that about 15 percent of cowboys were of African-American ancestry. Similarly, U. In Mexico, the vaqueros developed a distinct tradition and became known as charros. Many early vaqueros were Native American people trained to work for the Spanish missions in caring for the mission herds. Later, particularly after , when American policy promoted "assimilation" of Indians, some Indian boarding schools also taught ranching skills to native youth. Today, some Native Americans in the western United States own cattle and small ranches, and many are still employed as cowboys, especially on ranches located near Indian Reservations.

The "Indian Cowboy" also became a commonplace sight on the rodeo circuit. Geographic and cultural factors caused differences to develop in cattle-handling methods and equipment from one part of the United States to another. In the modern world, remnants of two major and distinct cowboy traditions remain, known today as the " Texas " tradition and the " California " tradition, which is more closely related to its Spanish roots.

Less well-known but equally distinct traditions developed in Hawaii and Florida. In the early s, the Spanish Crown, and later, independent Mexico , offered empresario grants in what would become Texas to non-citizens, such as settlers from the United States. In , Stephen F. Following Texas independence in , even more Americans immigrated into the empresario ranching areas of Texas.

Here the settlers were strongly influenced by the Mexican vaquero culture, borrowing vocabulary and attire from their counterparts, but also retaining some of the livestock-handling traditions and culture of the Eastern United States and Great Britain. The Texas cowboy was typically a bachelor who hired on with different outfits from season to season. Following the American Civil War , vaquero culture diffused eastward and northward, combining with the cow herding traditions of the eastern United States that evolved as settlers moved west.

Other influences developed out of Texas as cattle trails were created to meet up with the railroad lines of Kansas and Nebraska , in addition to expanding ranching opportunities in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Front, east of the Continental Divide. The Texas cowboy tradition therefore arose from a combination of cultural influences and the need to conduct long cattle drives to get animals to market under often treacherous environmental conditions.

The vaquero, the Spanish or Mexican cowboy who worked with young, untrained horses, had flourished in California and bordering territories during the Spanish Colonial period. Settlers from the United States did not enter California until after the Mexican War, and most early settlers were miners rather than livestock ranchers, leaving livestock-raising largely to the Spanish and Mexican people who chose to remain in California.

The California vaquero, or buckaroo, unlike the Texas cowboy, was considered a highly-skilled worker, who usually stayed on the same ranch where he was born or had grown up and raised his own family there. The Florida "cowhunter" or "cracker cowboy" of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was distinct from the Texas and California traditions. Florida cowboys did not use lassos to herd or capture cattle.

A Cowboy Tradition 4 pack (One Pound)

Their primary tools were bullwhips and dogs. Florida cattle and horses were small. The "cracker cow"—also known as the "native cow" or "scrub cow"—averaged about pounds and had large horns and feet. They usually wore inexpensive wool or straw hats, and used ponchos for protection from rain. The Hawaiian cowboy, the paniolo, is also a direct descendant of the vaquero of California and Mexico.

About , John Parker, a sailor who had jumped ship and settled in the islands, received permission from Kamehameha to capture the wild cattle and develop a beef industry. Many Hawaiian ranching families today still carry the names of the vaqueros who married Hawaiian women and made Hawaii their home. In addition to the Mexican vaqueros, the Mexican charro, the North American cowboy, and the Hawaiian paniolo, the Spanish also exported their horsemanship and knowledge of cattle ranching to the gaucho of Argentina , Uruguay , Paraguay and southern Brazil , the llanero of Venezuela , the huaso of Chile , and, indirectly through the U.

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In Australia, which has a large ranch station culture, cowboys are known as stockmen and drovers, with trainee stockmen referred to as jackaroos and jillaroos. The use of horseback riders to guard herds of cattle, sheep or horses is common wherever wide, open land for grazing exists. In the French Camargue, riders called "gardians" herd cattle.


The herders in the region of Maremma in Tuscany , Italy are called butteros. In Canada, the ranching and cowboy tradition centers around the province of Alberta.