Vaquero, c. 1830
Classic vaquero style hackamore equipment. Horsehair mecates top row, rawhide bosals in second row with other equipment
"Rancheros". Mexico, Aztec, Spanish and Republican, Vol 2. 1852
Image of a man and horse in Mexican-style equipment, horse in a two-rein bridle
In Piauí, Brazil.
Modern child in Mexican parade wearing charro attire on horse outfitted in vaquero-derived equipment including wide, flat-horned saddle, bosalita and spade-type bit, carrying romal reins and reata
Finished "straight-up spade bit" with California-style bosalito and bridle
A "Wade" saddle, popular with working ranch buckaroo tradition riders, derived from vaquero saddle designs
A Texas-style bosal with added fiador, designed for starting an unbroke horse

Horse-mounted livestock herder of a tradition that has its roots in the Iberian Peninsula and extensively developed in Mexico from a methodology brought to Latin America from Spain.

- Vaquero

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Term used to designate a Hispanic Californian, especially those descended from Spanish and Mexican settlers.

Gaspar de Portolá led the 1769 Portolá expedition and served as the first Governor of the Californias.
Juan Bautista de Anza led the 1775-76 Anza expedition.
Juan Bautista Alvarado briefly led a movement for the independence of Alta California from 1836 to 1837.
Noted Californio statesman Pío Pico served as the last Governor of Alta California under Mexican rule.
General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo reviewing his troops in Sonoma, 1846.
The raising of the Bear Flag and proclamation of the California Republic in Sonoma, following the Bear Flag Revolt on June 14, 1846.
The 1847 Battle of Santa Clara was one of the last battles of the conquest.
Signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga by Californio Andrés Pico and American John C. Frémont. The treaty ended the Mexican-American War in California.
Andrés Pico, shown in 1850 in traditional Californio vaquero attire, served as a California State Senator and Adjutant General of California.
The Red Lone Star Flag of California was a symbol of the Californio Revolt of 1836, led by Juan Bautista Alvarado.
Portrait of a Californio vaquero in traditional Californian clothing by James Alexander Walker.
Angustias de la Guerra played a crucial role in defending women's property rights during the drafting of the California Constitution.
Californio vaqueros in 1875.
José Andrés Sepúlveda was one of California's most famed vaqueros.

Later, the primary cultural focus of the Californio population became the Vaquero tradition practiced by the landed gentry, who received large land grants and created the Rancho system.


Estate (or finca), similar to a Roman latifundium.

Hacienda Lealtad is a working coffee hacienda which used slave labor in the 19th century, located in Lares, Puerto Rico.
Hacienda of Xcanchakan
Wheat mill and theatre of Vicente Gallardo; Hacienda Atequiza, Jalisco, Mexico, 1886.
Jaral de Berrios, probably the most important Hacienda of colonial times. Its owner at one time was one of the largest landowners in the world. Located in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico
Gardens of the Hacienda San Gabriel in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Palacio San José, Argentina; owned by Justo José de Urquiza, 19th century.
Model of the Hacienda de la Laguna.
Francisco Oller's depiction of Hacienda Aurora (1899) in Ponce, Puerto Rico
Main house of the La Chonita Hacienda, in Tabasco, Mexico, still a working cacao farm

Mounted ranch hands variously called vaqueros and gauchos (in the Southern Cone), among other terms worked for pastoral haciendas.


Animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks.

Cowboys portrayed in Western art. The Herd Quitter by C. M. Russell
American cowboy, 1887
"King of the Plains" postcard, 1898–1924
18th-century soldado de cuera in colonial Mexico
Vaqueros in California, circa 1830s
An 1898 photochrom of a round-up in Colorado
Cattle roundup near Great Falls, Montana, circa 1890
Waiting for a Chinook, by C.M. Russell. Overgrazing and harsh winters were factors that brought an end to the age of the open range
Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho youths learning to brand cattle at the Seger Indian School, Oklahoma Territory, ca. 1900.
Cowboys playing a craps game
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans at the 61st Academy Awards
Rodeo Cowgirl by C.M. Russell
Fannie Sperry Steele, Champion lady bucking horse rider, Winnipeg Stampede, 1913
Modern rodeo cowgirl
A "Wade" saddle, popular with working ranch Buckaroo tradition riders, derived from vaquero saddle designs
A Cracker Cowboy by Frederic Remington
Loading cattle at Kailua-Kona, at the start of the 20th century.
Photograph of Hawaiian Paniolo
Rider at the Calgary Stampede rodeo, 2002
A csikós in the puszta of Hungary, 1846
Cattle drive in New Mexico
Modern Texas cowboys
A stock type horse suitable for cattle work
A western saddle
A rodeo cowboy in saddle bronc competition
Buffalo Bill's wild west and congress of rough riders of the world – Circus poster showing cowboys rounding up cattle, c. 1899

The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of special significance and legend.

Southwestern United States

Geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent portions of California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

Panoramic view of the southwestern United States
The Chihuahuan desert terrain mainly consists of basins broken by numerous small mountain ranges.
Saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert.
The Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
Four Corners Monument
Ancestral Puebloans ruins at Chaco Canyon
Map of Paleo-Indians in the American Southwest and Mexico
Oraibi pueblo
Narváez expedition (1528–36)
1846 map: Mexican Alta California (Upper California) in pink.
United States 1849–1850
United States 1850–1853
1860 Colorado Territory map
Utah Territory evolution 1850–1868
Confederate Arizona (outlined in blue)
Split of Arizona and New Mexico territories, in 1866, after small portion ceded to Nevada
The second transcontinental railroad: the "Santa Fe Route" – 1891.
Sandia Peak Ski Area, New Mexico
Map of the Southwestern United States as defined by the Learning Center of the American Southwest
The Wigwam. A dwelling used by various Native American tribes among the Southwestern US.
Fanciful drawing by Marguerite Martyn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of October 21, 1906, headed "Passing of the Country Store in the Southwest"
A Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia)
The High Plains in Eastern New Mexico, but also located in Eastern Colorado and West Texas
Desert bighorn sheep
Sonoran Desert terrain near Tucson
Chihuahuan Desert terrain near Carlsbad
Monument Canyon, some of the high desert lands found in Colorado
Grand Canyon from the South Rim
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Little Finland in Gold Butte National Monument, Nevada
Runningback Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team
T. J. McFarland pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team.
1. Phoenix (also the largest MSA)
2. El Paso (5th largest MSA)
3. Las Vegas (2nd largest MSA)
4. Albuquerque (also the 4th largest MSA)
5. Tucson (3rd largest MSA)

This is due to the region's influence by the Native American (especially Apache, Pueblo, and Navajo), Hispano, vaquero, and later American frontier cowboy history.


Metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse or other animal to move forward or laterally while riding.

Western-style cowboy spurs with rowels, chap guards and buttons for the spur straps
Parts of a simple spur
Spur straps on an English "Prince of Wales" spur
"Rowel spur", circa 1400 Metropolitan Museum of Art
Western spur rowel with jingo bobs
Boot with spur, 19th century
English riding spur
Motorcycle spurs from Loop Spurs
A pair of barrel-racing spurs with unique nonrowel design
Prince of Wales
Swan neck, rowels
Waterford spur

In northern Europe, the spur became less elaborate after the 16th century, particularly following the Stuart Restoration, but elaborate spur designs persisted, particularly in the Americas, descendants of which are still seen today, particularly in Mexico and the western United States, where the spur has become an integral part of the vaquero and cowboy traditions.


Area of land, including various structures, given primarily to ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep.

View of the Grant-Kohrs Ranch near Deer Lodge, Montana.
Aike Ranch, El Calafate
Frijole Ranch (c. 1876) is part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in west Texas, United States
A rancho in Jalisco.
The historic 101 Ranch in Oklahoma showing the ranchhouse, corrals, and out-buildings.
An 1898 photochrom of a round-up in or near the town of Cimarron, Colorado.
Cattle near the Bruneau River in Elko County, Nevada
The severe winter of 1886–87 brought an end to the open range. Waiting for a Chinook, by C.M. Russell.
Cattle in a dehesa in Bollullos Par del Condado, Spain.

As settlers from the United States moved west, they brought cattle breeds developed on the east coast and in Europe along with them, and adapted their management to the drier lands of the west by borrowing key elements of the Spanish vaquero culture.


Charro has several meanings, but it generally refers to Mexican horse riders, who maintain traditional dress, such as some form of sombrero, which in Mexican Spanish are called sombrero de charro (a charro's hat).

Charro at the charrería event at the San Marcos National Fair in Aguascalientes City.
Female and male charro regalia, including sombreros de charro
Early interpretation of a charro ranchero or "cowboy farmer" in Mexico, 1852.
After the Mexican War of Independence was over one of the major generals Agustín de Iturbide rides into Mexico City victoriously with his generals many of which were charros that served in his army.
Emiliano Zapata wearing a charro suit
Two members of the rurales in charro style uniform c1890. Photo Abel Briquet
Saddle of a charro (Mexico, 19th century)

See also, vaquero.


One of the 32 states which comprise the Federal Entities of Mexico.

Catholic priest and insurgent leader José María Morelos
Yacata pyramids of Tzintzuntzan
Spanish-Tlaxcalan conquest of Michoacan under conquistador Nuño de Guzmán
Purépecha coyote statue
Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Salud in Patzcuaro
La Calavera Catrina figure bought in Pátzcuaro
Parícutin in 1997
Monarch butterfly sanctuary near the pueblo of Angangueo
Laguna Larga in Los Azufres
Green sea turtle swimming in the Mexican Pacific
View of Lake Patzcuaro from Tzintzuntzan
Parícutin 1943 eruption at night
Sierra Madre del Sur along the Michoacán seacoast
Famed guitar town of Paracho
Fishermen in Lake Pátzcuaro
Statue of José María Morelos in Janitzio
Danza de los Viejitos (Traditional folk dance of the Purépecha)
Noche de Muertos decorations
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Zamora de Hidalgo
Jardin de las Rosas Garden and Park in Morelia
Cathedral of Morelia
Traditional charro outfit
Gertrudis Bocanegra Plaza and the San Agustin Library in Zitacuaro
Cascada Parque Nacional in Uruapan

It celebrates the mestizo culture and heritage of Michoacán; in which the Spaniards employed the indigenous people as vaqueros or ranchers to herd cattle.


Type of animal headgear which does not have a bit.

A horse wearing a bosal hackamore with a fiador.
A horse wearing a bosal-style hackamore
5th century AD Eastern Roman mosaic from the emperor's palace in Constantinople.
Close-up detail of a nylon rope mecate tied onto the bosal, note looped reins and a lead rope all come off of the knot
A bosal hackamore with horsehair mecate and a fiador made of white nylon rope)
a western-style sidepull
an English style jumping cavesson
A mechanical "hackamore."

From this tradition, the American cowboy adopted the hackamore and two schools of use developed: The "buckaroo" or "California" tradition, most closely resembling that of the original vaqueros, and the "Texas" tradition, which melded some Spanish technique with methods from the eastern states, creating a separate and unique style indigenous to the region.


Spanish for "horseman", especially in the context of light cavalry.

Jinetes skirmish at the Battle of Higueruela, 1431

In Castilian, it is used adjectivally of a rider who knows how to ride a horse, especially those who are fluent or champions at equestrian practices, such as the gaucho, the huaso of the plains, the cowboy, Vaquero, or charro among others.