Vaqueros

Mexicans were the original cowboys of the American West, as attested in such Spanish-derived words as ‘buckeroo’, ‘lasso’, ‘chaps’, ‘rodeo’, etc.  Before wresting Texas from Mexico, Americans learned from the locals how to work the thousands of longhorn cattle grazing there on public land and put it to good use when the Civil War was over and the industrialized North was hungry for cheap Texas beef.  So they built railroads.  The golden age of the free-range cattle drives lasted only twenty years, but made a more lasting impression on the American psyche as the era that most represents the American personality.  The impact on Mexico was probably even greater, where to this day, ‘western wear’ stores can be found lined chock-a-block in any western Mexican city and a great many others, also.  Similarly, Plains Indians are considered the typical war bonnet American Indians, though their entire history as horsemen hunting buffalo barely spans a hundred years.  Their ancestors apparently hunted the native American horse to extinction 8-10,000 years ago after fifty million years of evolution, only to be re-introduced in highly-evolved breeds by those same Spaniards who taught the Americans vaquerismo.  Thus a long evolutionary and geographical cycle was complete, in which horses established strongholds in central Asia, the Russian steppes, and northern Europe before finally being tamed and breed into the fierce fast fleet war horses of Parthian, Arabian, and European legend.  All this was before the Spanish used them as superior technology to subdue native Americans.

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