Title: Gauchos at the Wild West

Periodical: Weekly Budget

Date: July 2, 1892

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Gauchos at the Wild West.

At the Wild West Show, held in conjunction with the "Floweries" at Earl's Court, Messrs. Cody and Salsbury have supplemented their unparalleled combination in the arena—which already included all manner of Red Indians, Mexicans, Don Cossacks, and Cowboys—by the introduction of a band of Gauchos from the Llanos of the Argentine Republic, making the sixth delegation to the "Congress of the Rough Riders of the World" which is being specially organized for the Chicago World's Fair. The heavy rains of the night and morning on Thursday did not contribute to the display or the comfort of the half-breed cavaliers from the Pampas, who, nevertheless, made a brave display in their round Spanish hats and violet jackets over the sodden and unequal ground. On Friday they were seen to much greater advantage in the finest of weather by a multitude of spectators, including the Duchess of Edinburgh, Prince Ferdinand of Roumania, and Princesses Marie and Victoria of Edinburgh. Like the Vacqueros of Mexico, they ride with a long stirrup, and in this respect are quite dissimilar from the Cossacks, who have their knees almost up to their saddle-bows. Specially skilled are the Gauchos in the wielding of the "bolas"—a string of raw-hide thongs 60 feet long, with an iron ball at either end, which is thrown with unerring aim about the legs of wild ostriches, guanacos, and other big game (here represented by stationary posts). Nearly everything belonging to the Gauchos is home-made, for as that excellent authority Major John M. Burke remarks, "Even to the rude saddle and his boots, which are made from the skin (taken from the knee down and shaped to the leg and foot while warm) of a freshly killed colt, and sewed at the toe, thus forming, practically a leather stocking without toe or heel." Mr. Kingsland, the well-known Argentine dealer, has imported 15 wild horses, on which the Gauchos show wonderful dexterity; but their style differs little from that employed by the Cowboys. They have great pluck and determination, and unanimous applause followed one example of their prowess, in which two of them, after having been rolled in the dirt, mounted the same horse, and, despite his frantic endeavours to unseat them, rode him triumphantly round the ring. The Gauchos should undoubtedly prove attractive auxiliaries to "Buffalo Bill's" display. Perhaps the arrival of the South Americans stimulated the other members of the show, but certain it is that the buck-jumpers never caused more hearty enthusiasm, that the Cossacks on heads and heels never performed more daring feats, and that even the stolid Redskins seemed determined to outdo themselves. Another feature of the exhibition was the formal opening of Major Burke's Logwood Cabin, so well known in the Jubilee year, and it may be mentioned that all the goodly array of viands, to which the guests were hospitably bidden, were "cooked in camp," under the superintendence of the chief sutler, an American, Mr. Langan. The backwoods, even in this instance, have been brought within measurable distance of Bow Bells. Outside the Wild West, the gardens are improving in beauty every day, and whether bathed in the afternoon sunshine or lighted up at night with myriads of coloured lamps, are truly a scene of enchantment, while the numerous bands that play almost incessantly during the afternoon and evening add greatly to the delights of this charming place of resort. Nor should the "side shows" be forgotten. The display of living ants at work is as instructive as it is interesting, while the wonderful maze of mirrors, in which the spectator sees himself duplicated in the most bewildering fashion, is a marvel of ingenuity and skill.

Special Performance Before the Queen at Windsor.

At 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, Buffalo Bill, with his Cossacks and troupe, arrived at Windsor and gave a performance before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, on the spacious lawn fronting the east terrace of Windsor Castle. After the performance the troupe left for London by special train. The programme gone through was of the most attractive description, leading off with a race between the representatives of each of the different nationalities — the American cowboys, the Red Indians, the Mexicans, the Cossacks, and the Gauchos —all of whom exerted their powers to the utmost. Then followed a series of scenes of Indian camp life, which the red men went through with much spirit; after which the Gauchos, whose picturesque costume and intrepid feats greatly interested the Royal party, gave their performance, their hurling of the "bolas," consisting of a number of raw-hide thongs, which they use as a sort of lasso, being a much-appreciated display. Next came the race for life, showing Colonel Cody and a band of Cowboys being pursued by hostile Indians, whom they ultimately defeated. The Cossacks, under Prince Ivan Makharadze, also gave their splendid entertainment of horsemanship and dancing; the everlastingly amusing buckjumpers and Cowboys went through their diverting performances; Colonel Cody displayed his wonderful dexterity as a marksman by shooting glass balls, both the colonel and the object-thrower galloping at full speed; and the entertainment was brought to a close by a general salute by all sections of horsemen, which was acknowledged by the Queen. The greatest success attended every detail of the representation, and the Queen personally congratulated Colonel Cody.

Title: Gauchos at the Wild West

Periodical: Weekly Budget

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.065.02 (1892 London)

Date: July 2, 1892

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: American Indians Bolas Clothing and dress Command performances Cowboys Don Cossacks Ethnic costume Exhibitions Folk dancing Gauchos Historical reenactments Horsemanship Horsemen and horsewomen Horses Indians of North America--Social life and customs Indians of North America Mexicans Monarchy--Great Britain Scrapbooks Shooting Targets (Shooting) Traveling exhibitions Wild horses Windsor Castle World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)

People: Burke, John M., 1842-1917 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902 Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901

Places: Earl's Court (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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