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Friday, May 3, 2013

Wild West Photo Friday: A Mexican Caballero in San Antonio

Now that the A to Z Challenge is over, I can get back to my regular Photo Friday series, whether it's Civil War, Wild West, or Military History. This week it's the Wild West, with this fine Mexican horseman photographed in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1870s.

Before there were cowboys, there were vaqueros. The Spanish made it to the Southwest first and set up extensive ranches. The process continued after Mexican independence from Spain. When white settlers started streaming in, they learned the trade from the Mexicans. Sadly, most Western films and books forget the vaqueros, just like they forget the black cowboys.

Photo courtesy New York Public Library.


  1. Someone needs to make a movie that includes them.

  2. Wow. A flock of birds could nest in that beard. I wonder if it was the style of the times, or if vaqueros didn't have decent razors out there on the prairie.

  3. History is only as accurate as he who writes it.

    I agree with Alex - instead of all these old remakes, why not make a truthful movie about the West? Maybe one day. In some of my research, I read that the white man was the first to take scalps - I don't remember that from my history classes. . .

    1. There is a theory that the British introduced scalping during the early Indian wars as a way to have their Indian allies prove that they'd killed members of hostile tribes.
      On the other hand, I do know of one archaeological site in Illinois from the Middle Mississippian Period (13th century AD) where at least one skull was found with scars from scalping. So while the British encouraged it, it was already in existence.
      And then there are the Civil War bushwhackers. . .

  4. Great photo. I think Westerns have come a long way. Just like everything else. Perhaps the change needs to come from writers.

  5. I think we've just stumbled across the next Danny Trejo film...


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