Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1875 Anglo-Am. cowboy

Subject: cowboy
Culture: Western Anglo-American
Setting: range wars, American West late 19th-early 20thc

​Event Photos

* Weston 1985 p80
​"[M]ost cowboys were hostile to Christianity, indeed all religions.  Teddy Blue testified that 90 percent of the cowboys were 'infidels' because of their life: 'after you come in contact with nature, you get all that stuff knocked out of you -- praying to God for aid, divine Providence, and so on -- because it don't work.'"

* Clayton/Hoy/Underwood 2001 p76 (Jerald Underwood, "The cowboy" p66-153)
"When the herd reached the end of the trail, the railroad, corral or the intended range, the cattle were sold or spread out to graze and the crew paid off and released.  The wild time in town grew to legendary proportion as the men blew off steam and blew in their pay in the saloons, brothels, and clothing stores of the railheads.  After being quiet around the herd, the Texans liked to make lots of noise.  Often the men were broke in a matter of hours or days from the spree, which often included gambling in the saloons of Dodge City, Abilene, and other cattle towns."

Primary Sources


Secondary Sources

* Polhemus 1994 p23
"If the cowboy hadn't existed he would have had to have been invented. And, in a sense, he was. All those 'Singing Cowboy' epics and B-movies which Hollywood churned out between the mid-1930s and the mid-1940s were more concerned with mythmaking than with historical accuracy. This was especially true of the dress styles. Real cowboys had been paid low wages and had worked long, arduous hours doing dirty jobs. To imagine that they could have ended up looking like Gene Autry or Roy Rogers is absurd. But America needed a vision of itself and Hollywood happily obliged."

​Field Notes