The Wild West was a very dangerous place, full of the unknown. Cowboys were a hardy bunch that tamed the land and paved the way to the modernization of the West. But it was not that easy because outlaws were always rampaging, stealing cattle and gold from the decent folks. The cowboys held their ground though with their bravery, boldness, and marksmanship, right?
Well, not really. Aside from images of machismo and their saddles (similar to our modern-day Double J Pozzi), here are some misconceptions about cowboys.
1. Cowboys were all white.
Initially, before settlers even came to America, there were already cowboys who were Mexican, African American, and Native American. Back then, they were not even called “cowboys” but they were called “vaquero.” Many of the cowboy terms came from the Spanish language and some practices were largely influenced by Mexican culture.
The first cowboys were kind enough to teach the new guys how to work the ropes.
2. Cowboys and Native Americans always fought each other.
While some of them did, it was not a frequent occurrence like some movies have shown us. They kind of avoided each other though and only helped each other out occasionally with the cattle managing.
3. Cowboys always had epic gunfights.
Not as often as we see in the movies. They had guns, yes, but they were heavily regulated. There came a time when the settlers finally, well, settled, some towns even started forbidding guns in the town premises. Most of the time, cowboys were too busy watching over their livelihood.
Also, it was very, very hard to be a master marksman back then because the guns during that time were inaccurate.
4. Cowboys had a lot of problems bank-robbing outlaws.
While there were outlaws back then, they were not as serious a problem. Banks were often close to the sheriff’s office because of the layout of the town. Most of the outlaws targeted the caravans and trains instead since they were more isolated and easier to escape from.
5. Cowboys were only guys.
There were cowgirls in the Wild West. They managed their ranches and rode horses like their male counterparts. Even now, there are women in the business and rodeos do have events that are targeted to female participants.
So there you have it. Five misconceptions about cowboys.
It’s not really bad to enjoy the action and stories of Western movies and series but it’s important to remember that most of what you see in the theaters and TV already has creative treatment applied to them.
Probably, the best way to find out more about cowboys is to become one of them. Buy a nice-looking saddle, learn how to manage cattle, and start living the life of a cowboy or a cowgirl. Just know that it won’t be an easy life.