Cowboy Culture-a Saga of Five Centuries

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Cowboy Culture-A Saga of Five Centuries
Essay Question One The cowboys rounded up cattle, so this is a good place to introduce the three types cattle brought to America by the Spanish. One was identified by its irregular and asymmetrical color spots around the neck and ears, the Spanish called it the “Berrenda.” Another breed was the Retinto, meaning dark brown in color. The third type of cattle came from Andalusia region, which was blackish in color and was better recognized as the Andalusian fighting bull. While the Andalusian was for bull fighting, the other two were for herding. These livestock with their very long horns eventually became part of Texas culture, better known as the Texas Longhorn. With numerous cattle roaming the countryside, the cattlemen had to come up with a way to identify their herds and protect them from potential loss and theft. The branding iron was established by the Spanish cowboys, they would place the poker in hot coals to heat the end of the iron, then inscribe on the hide a permanent marking, which showed ownership of their livestock. It was common for the vaquero to round up all the strays and to mark them as his own. “Centuries later this practice would be called “mavericking,” first in Texas, then elsewhere in the American West”(pg. 13). To prevent cattle issues among the Spanish and Indians, the creation of a cattlemen organization called the Mesta was formed. “The Mesta was to become the granddaddy of all organized stockmen’s group in the Western Hemisphere” (pg. 9). Issues that would be brought up at the Mesta, would be identifying any stray animals found in their herds. Each stock owner was guided by the council to have their own brands (branding tool), which again would be used to identify their livestock from others’ livestock. Owners would have to register their brands in a branding book. “Undoubtedly…...

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