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ERIC Number: EJ812708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Legacy of the American West: Indian Cowboys, Black Cowboys, and Vaqueros
Gandy, S. Kay
Social Education, v72 n4 p189-193 May-Jun 2008
The cowboy is viewed as an American icon: rider of the open range, rugged individual, and champion of good. Cowboys are still very much a part of American culture today. Why is it important to study cowboys? The introduction of cattle and horses by the Spanish "conquistadors" transformed the local culture, influenced the economics of the times, and created a national identity with the cowboy. Yet people's understanding of cowboys has, for the most part, been informed by movies and television shows. Dime store novels and Wild West shows helped construct the stereotypical images of the "white" cowboy and the red-skinned "savages." However, the cowboy culture and history are a product of men and women of many ethnicities; therefore, it is imperative that students be exposed to the many influences that shaped the American cowboy. This article presents an overview about cowboys and describes ways teachers can get students interested in the cowboy culture. (Contains 27 notes and 9 online resources.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A