The cowboy tradition has its roots in Spain and their methods of cattle herding. But not all its roots and the branches have spread far and wide.
Spanish North America included California and Florida as well as Mexico and Texas.
California, cut off from the rest of the United States by the Rockies, developed its own vaquero tradition shaped by geography. Vaqueros, or buckaroos, were considered highly skilled workers. They tended to stay with one ranch and raised families.
The Texas tradition was influenced by the cattle drovers of the southern states and was shaped by the effects of the Civil War. Cowboys tended to by bachelor migrants, working the season with one ranch, then moving on. Geography played its part too. Where the Californians could graze smaller areas because of the abundance of fodder, south western cowboys had to let their cattle range far and wide, constantly moving to find food and water.
"By 1832, Parker contracted Mexican vaqueros, expert horsemen with plenty of cattle experience. They arrived with boots and saddles, a new language and a new lifestyle for the island. Called “paniolo” by Hawaiians, the skilled cowboys trained local men to rope and ride a generation before their American counterparts in the “Wild West.” Wikipedia
|"Remington's Cracker Cowboy"|
|"Gaucho1868b" by Courret Hermanos|
A cowboy, by any other name.
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Alison is the author of mystery, suspense and historical western romance novels. She is also a self-confessed logophile (word-lover) and research junkie.