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'Aloha Rodeo' Book Illuminates The History Of Hawaiian Cowboys

In 1908, three riders from Hawaii came to compete in the biggest rodeo in America — Frontier Days in Wyoming. Their abilities stunned spectators.
Aloha Rodeo, by David Wolman And Julian Smith. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

In 1908, three riders from Hawaii came to compete in the biggest rodeo in America — Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Their abilities stunned spectators unaware of Hawaii’s cattle culture.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd talks to authors Julian Smith (@Julianwritesand David Wolman (@davidwolmanabout their new book, “Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West.”

Book Excerpt: ‘Aloha Rodeo’

The new world’s first cowboys were called vaqueros, from the Spanish vaca, for cow, and querer, to love. Vaqueros wore clothes that combined practicality with ornamentation: hats with wide upturned brims, low-heeled boots with jingling metal spurs decorated with silver, and pants adorned with bright buttons up the seams. Their skills at riding, roping,

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