Title: Cossacks at West Kensington

Periodical: London Evening News and Post

Date: June 2, 1892

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COSSACKS AT WEST KENSINGTON.

The Latest Novelty of the Wild West Show—Rough-riders from the Caucasus.

As indicated in a preliminary notice in these columns, the programme at the Wild West was yesterday strengthened by a reinforcement of Cossack horsemen just imported from the East. Everyone has heard of Mazeppa and his involuntary feat of horsemanship: these Cossacks are of the same blood as Mazeppa, and might be lineal descendants of his for aught we can tell. They belong to the Zaporogian branch of the great Cossack family, long noted for a combination of good fighting qualities with rare equestrian skill. Once soldiers of the Czar, they are every one liable to serve again with the colours in war time, and the British soldier who watches their quaint performance from a comfortable seat in the West Kensington building may find an additional flavour of pleasure in the knowledge that some day he may be standing in square to receive the wild charge that now terminates peaceably at the railings of the arena. For the present, the Cossacks are "very gentle Russians, and of a good conscience," though in their bearing and manner when off duty and wandering through the Wild West camp they suggest a certain impatience of performing duties and of the prim civilisation of West Kensington. In the arena they are more at home, dashing at breakneck speed from one corner of the field of action to another, picking objects from the ground whilst going at full gallop, riding backwards, sideways, upside down, and in every quaint position, with as much apparent ease and comfort as the average London citizen rides a tramcar. The horsemanship gives place for a while to a gentler art, as a wooden slab is brought out on which our Cossacks go through some of their national dances with wonderful nimbleness. They give only a short performance, but it is sufficient to show that cowboy and vaquero of the Wild West have found worthy rivals and dangerous competitors in popular favour. The troupe, ten in number, is officered by Prince Ivan Makharadze, himself perhaps the most accomplished horseman of the company.

Title: Cossacks at West Kensington

Periodical: London Evening News and Post

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.045.09 (1892 London)

Date: June 2, 1892

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: Caucasus Cossacks Cowboys Exhibitions Folk dancing Horse arenas Horsemanship Horsemen Mexicans Russians Scrapbooks Traveling exhibitions Zaporozhians

People: Mazepa, Ivan Stepanovych, 1639-1709

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) Kensington (London, England) London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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