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American cowboy, 1902

Cowboy is a term for a man hired by a rancher to drive or tend to cattle or horses on the open range, on horseback, as well as maintaining the ranch fixtures and fencing. Originating after 1850 from Mexican vaqueros, the cowboy developed into an icon of the American West.

Cowboys are celebrated figures in novels and films, and compete before large audiences in western rodeos.

Cowboys competing at a rodeo

see Cattle drives