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Cows and Cowhands


academic dishonesty: Any kind of deception that is used to advance a student’s grade or standing.

alardes: Exhibition military drills/parades commonly associated with the colonial Spanish military.

assimilation: The process of adopting the language and culture of a dominant social group or nation, or the state of being socially integrated into the culture of the dominant group in a society.

belligerent: Inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness.

campesino: Indigenous or mestizo worker that lived within an encomienda or hacienda.

caste: Racially based hierarchal system implemented by the Spanish during the colonial era.

charreada: Exhibitionary competition made up of various events that demonstrate a rider’s skill and showmanship that is derived from alardes.

charro: The riders that participate in charreadas, who have become a Mexican cultural symbol recognized throughout the world.

citation: Information telling readers where material originated that is not the author’s own.

coleaderas: A less formal competition that only includes coleando as its main event.

colonialization: The act of bringing into subjection or subjugation by colonializing.

commercial: Engaging in an activity to sell rather than use.

communal: Characterized by collective ownership and use of property.

conquistadores: Spanish explorers hired to lay landed claims on behalf of the Spanish crown.

converting: Changing religion.

corridos: Musical ballads that were commonly used to tell stories regarding famous individuals, horses, or legends.

cull: Selectively killing or removing an animal for a purpose.

curated: Material selected to tell a specific story.

dispossessed: Having one’s land taken away.

diverse: Differing from one another.

drover: The preferred term for those who worked the cattle drives. Drovers considered “cowboy” an insult.

elite: The people who have the most wealth and status in a society.

encomienda: Labor system implemented by the Spanish landed elites, which established a patriarchal hierarchy within registered land; encompassed all individuals living within encomiendo’s land.

escaramuza: Translates to “skirmish” but is often used to describe a female rider that partakes in the escaramuza event of a charreada.

feudal: A social and political system where a large landholder grants land to tenants, who must stay on the land and give labor and loyalty to the landowner.

grazing fee: The payment made to a landowner so they will allow livestock to feed on their land.

haciendado: Wealthy landed elite after Mexico’s independence from Spain.

haste: Swiftness of motion; speed; celerity.

illiterate: Unable to read or write.

indigenous: Of or relating to the earliest known inhabitants of a place and especially of a place that was colonized by a now-dominant group.

indispensable: Absolutely necessary.

industrialization: The act or process of industrializing: the widespread development of industries in a region, country, culture, etc.

integrated: Mixed together.

interior: Inland or inside.

leasing: Paying to stay on land owned by someone else.

lucrative: Producing wealth, profitable.

mestizo: Racial category derived from Spanish caste system to indicate a person of both indigenous and Spanish descent.

missions: Christian groups working to gain converts in areas that are not predominantly Christian.

mundane: Common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.

noble: A person born with special privileges and power.

nomadic: Roaming about from place to place aimlessly, frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement.

plagiarism: Using someone else’s work and making it look like one’s own.

railhead: A point on a railroad from which the track begins.

Reconstruction Treaties of 1866: Treaties between the US government and the Five Tribes after the Civil War that required the tribes to cede land among other requirements.

remuda: Herd of saddle-broken horses that cowboys and ranch hands used for the day.

refugee: A person forced to leave a place because of war, persecution, or natural disaster.

rustler: A person who steals livestock.

sharecropping: A tenant farmer, especially in the southern US, who is provided with credit for seed, tools, living quarters, and food, who works the land, and who receives an agreed share of the value of the crop minus charges.

stampede: The panicked running of a herd.

surplus: The amount that remains when use or need is satisfied.

Tejano: A Mexican American living in south Texas.

vaquero: Horse-riding laborer who works in the cattle industry.