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In the Days of the Vaqueros: America's First…
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In the Days of the Vaqueros: America's First True Cowboys

by Russell Freedman

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So often when the word "cowboy" is used, people think of some John Wayne type of character. In this book, author Russell Freedman tells the real story. "In the Daysof the Vaqueros: America's First True Cowboys" is written for older children, partly because it relates quite candid facts about the first cowboys (Indians) in Latin America and how they were forced to labor for the Spanish conquistadores. However, this book also focuses on the incredible skill of the Indian cowboys. Although the book is about vaqueros all over Latin America and the Southwest, there is a good section on the California vaqueros during the Mexican period. Readers will learn about the cowboys' jobs, tools, customs, and language. There are great illustrations and photographs throughout the book. ( )
  odonnell | Jul 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395967880, Hardcover)

In this rousing account of the first true cowboys, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman brings to life the days when the vaqueros rounded up cattle, brought down steers, and tamed wild broncos. In the service of wealthy Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century, Mexican ranch hands began herd- ing cattle, often riding barefoot. They soon developed and perfected the skills for this dangerous work and became expert horsemen. Hundred of years later the vaqueros shared their expertise with the inexperienced cowboys of the American West, who adopted their techniques and their distinctive clothing, tools, and even lingo. Yet today it is the cowboy whom we remember, while the vaquero has all but disappeared from history.
The vaqueros are at last given their due in this dramatic narrative, lushly illustrated with beautiful period paintings and drawings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:50 -0400)

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Recounts the history of the vaqueros in the Spanish New World who mastered the art of cow herding and taught it to the inexperienced settlers of the American West three hundred years later.

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