Cowboy Culture: Celebrating our Heritage

By Martha Crump |

In 1892, a man by the name of Charles Moreau Harger wrote the following in Scribner’s Magazine: “The cowboy, with his white, wide-trimmed hat, his long leather cattle whip, his lariat, and his clanking spur is a thing of the past.”

Despite Harger’s prediction, today, America’s favorite icon – the cowboy – is still recognized around the world and continues to have a decided impact on mainstream culture. There are few other western themes that have left us with such a vibrant vocabulary, created such distinctive clothing or recognizable tools of his craft, or has inspired such unique genres of art, literature, poetry, music, and even dance.

Many other trades helped shape the West, including farming, lumberjacking, railroading, and mining to name a few. While they were equally difficult and just as dangerous, for some reason they paled in comparison to the riveting image of the cowboy.

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