At the word "cowboy" the image of a courageous John Wayne with a cigar in his mouth, a pair of Colts and a stern look pops up in his head, but in fact a cowboy (English cowboy, from cow - "cow" and boy - "guy") - the name used in the Wild West of the United States in relation to cattle herders.
Interestingly, the cowboy hat was invented by John Stetson in the 1860s. It is still popular in the southwestern United States, northern Mexico and the western provinces of Canada.
Rodeo (Spanish Rodeo) is a traditional sport that historically began among Mexican and American cowboys. It is believed that rodeo as an open sport was first held in the Texas town of Pecos in 1883.
The era of cowboys began in 1865, when it was necessary to drive giant wild herds of bulls into theft, mainly in Texas, and ended about twenty years later.
Contrary to the opinion prevailing thanks to the cinema, the cowboys did not fight the Indians. The Indian Wars, which began in 1864, were fought between Indian tribes and the US Army. At times, the Indians themselves became cowboys, because they knew how to stay in the saddle and shoot from childhood.
In the so-called cowboy towns, there were not enough women and some of the cowboys danced with each other. The one who portrayed a woman tied a handkerchief.
According to statistics, over the past hundred years, there were no more than 20 thousand representatives of this profession.
About a third of the cowboys were blacks, freed after the civil war, but without work or property. Another third of the cowboys were Mexicans and a third were descendants of immigrants from Europe.
The work of a cowboy was considered low-paid, he received $ 25-40 a month. For this reason, a rare cowboy had his own horse, usually they worked on the master's horses.
The cowboy's earnings were small, and in the winter many cowboys were forced to work on the ranch simply for food and a roof over their heads. Cowboys received comparatively big money only for driving cattle. The cowboy spent a significant part of his money on booze, with the most popular drink among cowboys being beer, not whiskey, as is usually shown in Westerns.
The cowboys were hired to drive livestock, but the fun began when they returned with the money they earned. Authorities from towns along their route hired bandits to protect the population from roaming cowboys.
In American history, there was only one president who was a cowboy by profession. This is Theodore Roosevelt. Early in his career, from 1883 to 1886, he worked as a cowboy.
The first cowboy church was organized in Waxahachi, Texas. Now the cowboy Christian movement is united in the American Association of Cowboy Churches.