Title: The "Wild West"

Periodical: Morning Advertiser

Date: June 24, 1892

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THE "WILD WEST."

Messrs. Cody and Salsbury have just made an addition of an exceedingly novel and striking character to their popular exhibition at Earl's-court, by which its scope as an illustration of rough-riders and rough-riding in remote western countries has been extended in an entirely new direction. To the cowboys, the Indians, the Vacqueros, and the Cossacks of the Caucasian line, whose feats of horsemanship, sharpshooting, modes of warfare, and national ways have richly contributed to the diversified and vivid spectacular displays which have long been popular in London and other capitals, they have now given as comrades a party of Gauchos, whose exploits in the saddle and out of it will make life in the pampas as familiar to us as that of the Indian prairies has been rendered by similar illustrations. The Llanos of the Argentine Republic have a very fair claim to representation in such an exhibition. Mr. John M. Burke, the general manager of the "Wild West," has collected a number of facts concerning this remarkable race, and his statements inspire a lively interest in their horsemanship. The Gauchos are the descendants of the Spanish colonisers of the great South American wilds, and their Spanish-Indian blood has endowed them with national characteristics in which those of both original races are combined and modified, the fiery Spanish temperament and the savage Indian nature producing the blend of character which they display. The old Spanish civilisation taken out to the Llanos has been so overshadowed by the new conditions to which it was exposed that the Gauchos are as ferocious as the aboriginal Indians. From their infancy they are trained to horsemanship, and at the early age of four can ride the wildest colt that roams the pampas. The Gauchos have the reputation of being more expert in the use of the lasso than any other people in the world, and they have, besides, adopted from the Indians an instrument called the "bolas" for capturing wild animals. The bolas is made of a number of thongs of raw hide, with an iron ball at the end of each, and these are united to a central thong which the Gaucho holds in his hand. The Gaucho hurls the bolas at a flying horse, cow, or ostrich at a distance of sixty feet, and the thongs become so entangled about the animal's legs that it is brought helplessly to the ground. The bolas is therefore used both in hunting and in war in preference to the lasso. The troupe of Gauchos numbers about twelve, and have been brought from the Argentine expressly for exhibition in the "Wild West." The horses brought over with them were carefully sought after as having the reputation in their country of being utterly unmanageable. Apart from the nationality and characteristics of the Gauchos, this new feature of the exhibition is intended to dispel the erroneous idea that the "bucking" horses exhibited are trained to buck. Buffalo Bill's "Wild West" cowboys undertake to ride any horse that anyone will bring on to the ground. The Gauchos were exhibited yesterday for the first time in Europe, and their performances excited much interest and applause.

Title: The "Wild West"

Periodical: Morning Advertiser

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.060.08 (1892 London)

Date: June 24, 1892

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: American Indians Bolas Caucasus Cossacks Cowboys Exhibitions Gauchos Horsemanship Horsemen and horsewomen Indians of North America Lasso Manners and customs Mexicans Scrapbooks Sharpshooters Shooting Traveling exhibitions Wild horses

People: Burke, John M., -1917 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) London (England) Pampas (Argentina)

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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