A cknowledgements By Donald Chávez y Gilbert




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COWBOYS - VAQUEROS

Origins Of The first American Cowboys

Chapter 5

By Donald Chávez Y Gilbert

The First Horses, Sheep and Cattle


In the interest of school children who may need a shorter compilation of the pre-Columbian history of Ranching, immediately below is an abbreviated version of the longer section which follows immediately thereafter.


Pre-Columbian History of

Cattle Ranching,

Dispelling the Myths


THE HISTORY OF CATTLE RANCHING IN NEW MEXICO STARTED THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO IN A FAR AWAY LAND ACROSS THE OCEAN CALLED IBERIA


  1. RANCHING, THE FIRST COWBOYS: The history of cattle ranching is tied to the whole topic of livestock ranching or animal husbandry, inseparably and integrally connected to sheep ranching. The two areas have traded predominance back and forth over the eras of time. They evolved together.


HISTORICAL REFERENCES: SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT RESEARCH – COPYING INFORMATION FROM ONE PERSON IS CALLED PLAGIARISM; COYING INFORMATION FROM A GROUP OF PEOPLE IS CALLED RESEARCH.


    1. HOW OLD? Cattle ranching dates back to between 30 and 50,000 BC based on archeological evidence.

    2. GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN? This first archeological evidence is found in the Iberian Peninsula, in the caves of Cova Negra, southern Spain. According to Richard E. Ahlborn, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1980 in his book titled Man Made Mobile, Early Saddles of Western North America, “Archaeological evidence of the advent of riding in Spain occurs in rock art dating before 2000 B.C.




      1. IBERIA? The Iberian Peninsula, AKA the Hispanic Peninsula The “Hispanic peninsula lies at the extreme southwestern tip of Europe, in the direction of Africa and the outer Atlantic. SEE MAP

      2. It is second only to Switzerland as the highest area in Western Europe, land like the original Kingdom of New Mexico which included most of the American Southwest, rising rapidly from the lowlands to high desert hill country.

      3. Except for the green belt referred to by Charles J. Bishko as the Humid Crescent that comprise the northern and northwestern fringes, it is a predominantly dry area.

      4. THE PEOPLE OF THE IBERIAN PENINSULA The Romans gave the name “Hispania” to Spain. “The Romans described members of most of the Hispanic tribes as rather short, dark-haired, white-skinned, and physically agile, if not particularly muscular characteristics which would seem to describe modern as well as ancient inhabitants of the peninsula.”

      5. Cowboy mettle: The makings of the cowboy persona The largest ethnic group in the peninsula, the Iberians, were strongly tribal and warlike, qualities characteristic of the population of ancient Hispania as a whole.


Historical timeline of ----- LIVESTOCK

  1. HORSES: Man first saw horses as part of his wide variety of al la carte menu. Between twelve and ten thousand BC, the two North American subspecies of horses became extinct, shortly after humans arrived in the Western Hemisphere.

    1. Meanwhile in the Iberian Peninsula around this same time cave paintings depict horses and the invention of the rope.

    2. It is estimated that mankind evolved his relationship from hunting horses to domesticating them between four thousand and three thousand BC, the same time as the invention of the wheel.

    3. Ancient mariners brought horses of Afro-Turkic origin to new places they had never traveled during the natural course of nature.

    4. Men were already selectively breeding Afro-Turkic horses for intelligence, endurance, and hardiness and reducing their methods to writing for use in chariot battles between 1600 and 1800BC. Around 1000BC North African mariners brought Afro-Turkic horses to the Iberian coast where they had their stallions cover mares of the larger Draft subspecies. The results were amazing! They got colorful offspring larger and hardier than their sires. This was the worlds first out crossed breed of horse. This was the beginning of a foundation herd for all modern Iberian breeds, Breton, Welsh, Hobby, Cornish, Galwey, Asturian, Galician, and Iberian, to name a few.




  1. CATTLE, SHEEP, and GOATS: Between six and ten thousand years BC sheep, goats, and cattle were being domesticated.




  1. SUBSEQUENT COWBOYS AND THE MELTING POT

Who Were The First Cowboys? Controversy on line: Internet Blogs; Wikipedia Encyclopedia

    1. The early Hispanics were followed by the first clearly definable group of immigrants, a sizable wave of Celtic migrants around 1200-1300 BC from central or northern Europe. The early name of Spain, “Iberia", is Celtic and is derived from their word "aber", or "open" as it translates in Spanish, meaning "harbor" or "opening."

    2. Archeological fragments of Celtic weapons, horseshoes, bridle bits, and prick spurs show up around 500 B.C. About that same time, more evidence of bent-knee riders in saddles of concave silhouette appear in Iberian stone carvings, bronze castings, and vase paintings.


Other historical ethnic contributors:

  1. By 1100 B.C. Phoenicians arrived to the peninsula and founded colonies, the most important of which was Gadir (today's Cadiz, Andalucia).

  2. Also Greeks founded colonies in southern Spain and along the Mediterranean coast. During the Punic Wars (200BC) between Rome and Carthago, Carthaginians invaded Spain and conquered large parts of it.




  1. The eastern Iberians were considerably influenced by Greek and Phoenician merchants and immigrant colonies, who contributed much to their culture and political organization.


Basques: The most distinctive ethnic community among them was that of the Basques of the western Pyrenees and adjacent foothills. The origin of the Basques is shrouded in mystery. Probably the most famous American of Basque origin was Don Juan de Onate


  1. After Rome defeated Carthago, Romans invaded the colonies in

Spain, eventually conquering the entire peninsula. According to Stanley “the complete lack of political or cultural unity among the disparate societies of the peninsula impeded rather than facilitated their conquest by Rome. The incorporation of Hispania into the empire was a long, slow process, lasting from 218 B.C. to 19 B.C.


SPANISH RESISTANCE TO FOREIGN DOMINANCE

This was a much longer time than was required to subjugate other major portions of the Mediterranean littoral.” – More evidence of the tenacity of the Iberian Hispanics. This extended period of isolation sustained and contributed to their ability to perfect and consistently maintain a predominance of animal farming and to develop salient methods and higher more specialized ranching technology. “The fact also that it was highlighted by celebrated examples of diehard resistance the most famous of which was the struggle to the death of the town of Numantia in 133 B.C. has led some Spanish historians to view the ancient Hispanic tribes as already "Spanish" in their cultural characteristics, particularly in their xenophobia and obstinate resistance to foreign domination.”

within the culture of ranching Rodero (author of El Ganado Primitivo Andaluz y Sus Implicaciones en el Descubrimiento de America, E. Rodero, A. Rodero & J.V. Delgado) agrees, “the arrival of the Romans did not suppose any substantial change in the existing animals, but they brought important changes in the methods of breeding and production


Back to horses

By the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD, Visigoths and Vikings sweeping southward through Iberia built boats, loaded stolen Iberian horses and took them to North Africa and created the back cross of the Iberian horse upon the shores of North Africa, resulting in the origin of the Barb Horse of North Africa.


The name Barb having been borrowed from the Berber peoples. ------ Cross the Iberian Spanish horse with the North African Berber horse and the new Spanish “Barb” is born.


Fast forward generations and the continuous crossbreeding of these two prototypes produces Iberian horses of the Jennet type, e.g., Cartujeno, Grenadine, Galiceño, and Estremadureño. From these Jennet type Iberian horses Columbus shipped varying combinations of horses to which occasioned Baguales, and American Mustangs.

In the 7th century Mohammed united his people and converted almost the whole of the Near East to Islam. Islam brought horses from North African coast in 711 into Jerez de la Frontera and overran the Iberian Peninsula. Thus began nearly eight centuries of Islamic rule, pedigrees, and the Iberian Jennet or Spanish Barb.


In 1492 when the Spanish drove the Moors out of Spain the Spanish began disseminating their Spanish Barb “Cowponies” throughout the world to which their explorations and conquests can attest. The culture of Spanish ranching and cowboying started a new and significant chapter as the ever evolving Caballero and vaquero headed for the Americas and arrived in the “West.” Enter a man from Catalan, Spain whom for political reasons misinformed King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that he was from Italy, Cristobal Colon, better known in English speaking parts as Christopher Columbus.



  1. The First Cowboy Ranches:

The FINE ART OF ADAPTATION

    1. A. Rodero, E. Rodero, and J.V. Delgado in their paper The Primitive Andalusian Livestock and Their Implications In The Discovery Of America, observe that “from the data collected in the literature we deduce that in old Spain existed a predominance of animal farming over agriculture at least in certain regions such as the Betica (Guadalquivir River Valley in Andalucia.)

    2. Estrabon, talking about Turdentania(which corresponds presently to West of Anadalusia), notes…{”even though this region exports wheat, many wines, oil, wax, honey, pitch, cochineal and minium, the abundance of farm animals belonging to all species is enormous.”

    3. The predominance of animal farming over agriculture, was favored by the fact that most of the Iberic Peninsula was sparsely inhabited.

    4. The farm animals were one of the principal sources of wealth in old Hispania, and the food base for almost all the Spanish human populations.”

  1. Why Iberia? As mentioned before the Iberians were visited and invaded by wave after wave of new tribes. Moving conditions required that they place value of wealth in their animals more than their real-estate.

    1. In other parts of Europe and the world, while these other parts of the globe also suffered their share of hostilities, history tells us there were sufficient numbers of “keepers of livestock” with continuity of peace and consistency that the people were able to maintain their status quo. That is, they could keep their “hand full” of cows, oxen, sheep, goats, etc. in relative comfort without the constant pressure to adapt and improve their game, absent the need to move the whole operation swiftly and at a moments notice. Those people and animals which would have fallen behind or not withstood the stresses imposed by frequent upheaval, war, starvation and the rigors of living on the move survived to perpetuate their genes and characteristics, whereas, the Iberians more often had to leave their weaker animals and relatives behind, thus leaving the stronger Iberian, people and animals to pass on their strengths to future generations. Iberians lived in harsh rugged climate and terrain which forced survivors to develop and evolve a strength and endurance equal to the challenges of the land. That is why they and their livestock thrived as transplants to the similarly situated Kingdom of New Mexico.




    1. Iberians were isolated on vast tracks of land with little or no contact with other people or other livestock with which to hybridize their stock.


Summary of contributing factors: to The FINE ART OF ADAPTATION


I The vast expanses of the Iberian Peninsula was sparsely inhabited preventing the hybridizing of animal and sharing of cowboy technology over long periods of time.

II. The harsh climate and geography of the mostly dry high desert assured only the hardiest DNA was passed on to subsequent generations.

III. Constant hostilities by invading immigrants caused:

    1. farm animals to be valued more than land.

    2. Farm animals had to have the endurance to move vast distances at a moments notice.

    3. Farm animals being raised under these trying conditions over many generations in close contact with their intrepid cowboy keepers favored the survival of more intelligent horses, cattle, and sheep than their counterparts in more commodious parts of Europe and the world.

  1. Selective breeding by design:

    1. All the same conditions which forced the Iberian livestock to improve its attributes of endurance, hardiness, and intelligence also contributed to these same attributes in the people of the Iberian Peninsula. These people were hardy, intrepid, stubborn, proud, and intelligent. The phenomenon of survival of the fittest did not escape them. Consequently, they intentionally and methodically bred their animals for hardiness, intelligence, and endurance.




  1. Human hybridizing:

The one significant factor different in the evolution of the technology of cowboys which was absent in the evolution of their livestock was that these cowboys benefited by the interbreeding with all the invading tribes each contributing their special strengths to the ever evolving cowboy.


* This is the end of the abridged version of Pre-Columbian ranching history.

HORSES

About twelve thousand BC wild horses were hunted by man wherever they were found. Shortly after humans arrived in the Western Hemisphere, about ten thousand BC (and eight thousand BC when dogs were first being domesticated), the two North American subspecies of horses became extinct. According to Dr. Debora Bennett the horse was domesticated independently several times wherever it appeared in its’ range. Prior to domestication, horses had evolved seven separate subspecies found in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Interestingly, recognized authority on prehistoric horses Dr. Debora Bennett attributes the origins of horses to seven original types of wild horse, 1.) Equus caballus mosbachensis [Central European subspecies], 2.) Equus caballus caballus [Iberian Draft subspecies], 3.) Equus caballus pumpelli [Afro-Turkic Horse], 4.) Equus caballus ferus [Tarpan], 5.) Equus caballus przewalski[Przewalski Horse], 6.) Equus caballus alaskee [Beringian Horse], and 7.) Equus caballus mexicanus, [American periglacial Horse], none of which include the Equus stenonius cited by the Spanish Barb Breeders Association in Anthony, Florida as the precursor of the Barb/Iberian horse from one of the six original types of wild horses known to man; a riddle which will no doubt be solved by the genomics of DNA analysis.


The consensus is however, that horse domestication seems to have originated in Eastern Europe or the Crimea, (Tarpan subspecies [Equus caballus ferus] now extinct); the southwest Russian steppe; in North Western Europe; in Iberia, (Draft subspecies [Equus caballus caballus]), Central European subspecies Equus caballus mosbachensis, and North African subspecies (Afro-Turkic – Equus caballu pumpelli). The early domesticators of horses discovered that horses were not as tractable as other livestock.

Around this same time cave paintings in the Iberian Peninsula depict horses and the invention of the rope.

Between six and tex thousand years BC sheep, goats, and cattle were being domesticated. It is estimated that mankind evolved his relationship from hunting horses to domesticating them between four thousand and three thousand BC, the same time as the invention of the wheel. Ancient mariners brought horses of Afro-Turkic origin to new places they had never traveled during the natural course of nature.


From war horses to cowponies: It bears pointing out as a historical note that horse domestication marked the beginning of modern warfare. The mounted warrior became the conqueror who could attack his unmounted neighbor with impunity. Even when opposing sets of warriors were mounted on horseback technologically practical designs like the jineta (jennet) style saddle cinched to the smaller, more maneuverable Afro-Turkic Barb resulted in the Moors decisive conquest over the Spanish mounted military wearing heavy armor, riding large Iberian Draft horses with cumbersome Estradiota Spanish war saddles. The smaller size was an advantage allowing the Moors/Berbers to close in with the enemy and strike with more lethal and debilitating results. This is precisely why Turks’ - Arabs’ fighting blades, scimitars, were forged with curved angles. They could slash at their opponent with minimized chances of wounding their own horses.


Men were already selectively breeding Afro-Turkic horses for intelligence, endurance, and hardiness and reducing their methods to writing for use in chariot battles between 1600 and 1800BC. Around 1000BC North African mariners brought Afro-Turkic horses to the Iberian coast where they had their stallions cover mares of the larger Draft subspecies. The results were amazing! They got colorful offspring larger and hardier than their sires. This was the worlds first out crossed breed of horse. This was the beginning of a foundation herd for all modern Iberian breeds, Breton, Welsh, Hobby, Cornish, Galwey, Asturian, Galician, and Iberian, to name a few.

Centuries past and by the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD, Visigoths and Vikings sweeping southward through Iberia built boats, loaded stolen Iberian horses and took them to North Africa and created the back cross of the Iberian horse upon the shores of North Africa, resulting in the origin of the Barb Horse of North Africa. The name Barb having been borrowed from the Berber peoples. Cross the Iberian Spanish horse with the north African Berber horse and the new Spanish “Barb” is born. Fast forward two thousand years and the continuous crossbreeding of these two prototypes produces Iberian horses of the Jennet type, e.g., Cartujeno, Grenadine, Galiceño, and Estremadureño. From these Jennet type Iberian horses Columbus shipped varying combinations of horses to which occasioned Baguales, and American Mustangs.

According to authorities on the Berbers, this an ethnic group indigenous to Northwest Africa, of the Afroasiatic family principally concentrated in Morocco and Algeria but with smaller communities as far east as Egypt and as far south as Burkina Faso.There is no complete agreement about the origin of the Berbers, however the consenses is that most northwest Africans (whether they consider themselves Berber or Arab) are predominantly of Berber origin, and that populations ancestral to the Berbers have been in the area since the Upper Paleolithic era where they would have long had the opportunities and history connected with North African horse subspecies (Afro-Turkic – Equus caballus pumpelli). The predominant ancestors of the Berbers appear to have come from East Africa, the Middle East, or both.

Arabian horses visa-vis Barbs

More than 1600 years later with the Islamic conquest of Arabia, Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Afganistan, Pakistan, and Baluchistan, the Afro-Turkic horses (those not having been crossed with Iberian horses), began to be selectively bred for beauty, spelling the beginning of the Arabian horse. From this beginning spun off Akhal-Teke, Bashkir, Darabair, Lokai, Turkoman, Marwari and other breeds. While the Barb was bred for usefulness, its Arabian cousin was bred for refined features such as the high “flagging tail,” dainty more rounded forhead, and dished profile. The Barb has a thicker head and heavier bones. More important, the Barbs’ low tail set, rounded haunches, and sloping croup provide for greater ability to negotiate uneven terrain, spring, and wheel in unpredictable circumstances compared to the Arabian’s design to run over horizontal ground. Again, the Barb had an early start at preparing for rounding up livestock or cavalry maneuvers.

In the 7th century Mohammed united his people and converted almost the whole of the Near East to Islam. Islam brought horses from North African coast in 711 into Jerez de la Frontera and overran the Iberian Peninsula. Thus began nearly eight centuries of Islamic rule, pedigrees, and the Iberian Jennet or Spanish Barb.


In 1492 when the Spanish drove the Moors out of Spain the Spanish began disseminating their Spanish Barb “Cowponies” throughout the world to which their explorations and conquests can attest. The culture of Spanish ranching and cowboying started a new and significant chapter as the ever evolving Caballero and vaquero headed for the Americas and arrived in the “West.” Enter a man from Catalan, Spain whom for political reasons misinformed King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that he was from Italy, Cristobal Colon, better known in English speaking parts as Christopher Columbus.
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