The Influence of Western Cowboys in America
Have you ever seen a typical American Western Movie? If so, I think it’s not difficult to form an image of western cowboys in your mind. Then what do they look like? A boy, wearing felt hat and riding boots with dagger and handgun on the waist, press his two legs powerful which makes the horse speed away. In a word, west cowboys are the heroes on horsebacks. Because of the lifestyle and behaviors of them, western cowboys have become a sign of liberty, bravery and adventuresome. From the old cowboys make influences on American culture gradually which can be seen from not only work of art but also their paraphernalia and ideas on values.
Apart from movies, songs and poetry are also vivid in describing their feelings and life. According to Harold Braverman in his article published on VOA, they just sang these songs as they rode on the saddles of their horses across the cattle lands which were very close to them. ( At that time, they fought against the deserted area and silence with the beautiful tunes and words. As Thin Lizzy sang in the song “Cowboy Song” in Live And Dangerous, “Riding in the rodeo /Roll me over and set me free”. This could explain why they are so fascinated by the riding life—they are longing for liberty, of course.
Their riding with their free thinking in the wind gradually becomes a symbol which roots in American dreams about freedom. A noose, cowboy towels, clothes, cowboy hat, cowboy boots–modern cowboy costume hasn’t much difference from that in movies. Because everything has its existence value rather than is just decoration. For example, the noose is the most useful tool to control the herd. Once some cattle rush out the queue, cowboys use it to catch them which show their power and technique. The bandanna called cowboy towels is multipurpose which protect cowboys from sunburn, dust and chilliness.
What’s more, the tall cowboy boots decorated with colorful leathers and spurs make it more efficient while working from horseback. I think it’s the rough and sharp surfaces that stimulate the horse to toe the line. Anyway, the wonderful images make a deep impression on ordinary people with the enthusiasm to catch the fashion dressing. To some extent, it also teaches people focus on the homemade or handwork without expensive materials. In the eyes of who advocate nature, these primary things can be just suitable. West cowboys are a group of people from all over the world who are looking for opportunities to become heroes.
Most of them came from Mexico and South of America, where are close to the western America, but also are those from Nevada in Australia. To be a real cowboy, gift and acquired hard work are both required. Of course, tenacity is indispensable to a cowboy which contains too much meaning. First, he lives and accompanies with the herd. So they have self respect and show respects to the cattle at the same time for a better harmonious life. In Philip Ashton Rollins’s book The Cowboy: His Characteristics, His Equipment, and His Part in the development of the west, he mentioned that university of courage was an earmark of the cowboy’s trade.
In fact, they face with the danger not only from the animals but also from the climate with Nature itself. They always stand hot, dusty, freezing weather conditions, the hard work and even damage deeply from inner alone. Most of the cowboys don’t seek fame or fortune, instead of their understanding and love of life. The cowboys have strong sense of justice, regard as a man of courage and daring, and stick to their own standards about rituals, laws and institutions outside. They are alone with the preference about the primitive life to modern urban life. But who really understand cowboy, understand their deep loneliness and magnificent?
Understand they face west, grassland, herds of simple sentiment and ambitions? Perhaps, crowded cities in disgust and busy modern, more is the vast field and freedom. As traffic developed, arrived at the beginning of the 21st century, cowboy era finished. With the spread of the American culture, the cowboy culture with literature, film image, cowboy clothing, language, and the unique ballads, entertainment and so on influenced the whole world. Cowboys, with historical development and legend, become the important content of American culture, inspiring generations of America. Legend continues.