Cowboy, Vaquero, Buckaroo...

Did you know that the first cowboys in Texas were Mexican vaqueros? Matter of fact, vaqueros were so well known for their skills that Texas rancher Richard King, traveled to Mexico in 1854 to recruit the whole vaquero families to manage his herds.

Even though by the mid to late 1800s cowboying stopped being a strictly Hispanic occupation, to this day, a lot of the cowboy folk in Texas, California, and other ranching communities across the United States are still of Hispanic heritage. So, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some famous vaqueros you'd like to know about.

Photo by Pablo Rebolled - a vaquero on horse with a reata and 2 women in traditional Mexican clothes observing him

If you know anything about charros, you've probably heard of Jerry (Gerardo) Diaz. He performs his specialty act at rodeos around the country and produces his own Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza. He's famous for his expertise with the rope, which he spins equally well on foot, while horseback riding, and when standing atop his horse.

Then, there's Juan Salinas, one of the best tie-down ropers to come out of South Texas. From 1936 to 1946, he followed the national rodeo circuit and drew a lot of attention wherever he went, from Texas to New York Madison Square Garden, as there were very few Hispanic rodeo stars at that time.

But not all of the modern day American West and Old West vaqueros were good guys. Akin to the likes of Butch Cassidy and Billy the Kid, Hispanic residents of the Old West had their fair share of outlaws. Take Jose Chavez y Chavez for example. This hombre muy malo was not only a part of New Mexico's "Big Killing," but is also believed to have been behind many an assassination and was part of the terrorist group La Sociedad de Bandidos (Society of Bandits).

Three Mexican rodeo cowboys (charros) on horses - photo by Zuriela Benitez

Now, not all vaqueros and vaqueras are part of the history. Here at Buckaroo Bling, as we honor heritage and traditions of the American West, we try to include models with Hispanic roots in our styled photo shoots. Matter of fact, one of them was a veritable "face of the brand" in our early days. Doesn't matter that we had to send our jewelry from Montana to Texas so that she could model it for us. It was well worth it. Isn't she a beauty?

Model Karina Perez modeling earrings by Buckaroo Bling

So, cowboys and cowgirls, let's all thank the original vaqueros for our heritage during this Hispanic Heritage Month. Viva el vaquero!

P.S. If you'd like to get some fun earrings like our vaquera bonita here, click the button below to visit our online shop.

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