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The men elected a leader, a comandante , who was in absolute charge of the group. When the killing was over, the women helped to skin the buffalo and cut up and dry the meat.

The Cibolero Trail

They frequently got as far as the Canadian River in the Panhandle and brought back an astonishing amount of meat and hides; an report estimated that the ciboleros killed 10, to 12, buffalo each year. Sometimes the ciboleros brought back more than meat and hides. One of the more colorful characters around Santa Cruz in the nineteenth century was a man called El Guero Mestas, who died in his 80s about El Guero had blond hair and blue eyes—thus his nickname—and he had been brought to Santa Cruz as an infant by some ciboleros who had traded buffalo meat for him with a band of Comanches they had met in the breaks of the Canadian River.

The Comanches had killed his parents and were taking him back to adopt into their tribe.

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Instead, he was adopted by a family named Mestas and grew up to be a prosperous farmer and prominent man in Santa Cruz, famous for his poetry, his practical jokes and his piercing blue eyes. He and his companions met up with a group of Comanches and camped with them to do some trading.

The wife of one of the [natives] turned out to be a young Mexican girl from San Antonio, Texas, who had been taken captive a few years before. She pleaded with Romero to rescue her, and Romero considered the sensation it would cause at home if he brought the beautiful captive back as a bride.

Any effort to free her might destroy our whole party.

Asi le toco [thus it happened]. As the buffalo herds diminished, the ciboleros turned to trading with the Comanches, taking salt, tobacco, Navajo blankets, strips of iron, dried fruit and sacks of a hard bread called pan de Comanche out on the Texas plains and coming back with horses, stolen cattle and, sometimes, captives like El Guero Mestas.

Santa Fe trader Josiah Gregg met a group of these traders on the plains in the s and claimed that they spent so much time with the Comanches that they pointed at objects with their chins, like Indians, instead of with their fingers. In a former comanchero from Mora, Casimero Romero, decided to settle permanently in the Panhandle, and he brought his family, servants, and 5, sheep to Atascosa Creek in Oldham County, where he built a big adobe house, dug irrigation ditches and gathered several other families from Mora and Las Vegas around him.

He and his neighbors prospered as New Mexican sheep ranchers in Texas for a few years, but then cattlemen began to crowd them out and they pulled back across the plains to New Mexico and left the Panhandle to the cattlemen, who are still there. But the next time you drive to Lubbock, think not about ranchers and wildcatters, but about the ciboleros from Chimayo with their braided hair and leather jackets and lances.

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Celebrate Littlefield , July 19—20, features live music, a sanctioned barbecue cook-off, parade, and food and merchandise vendors. Find more events all across the state on our Events page. The natives of the bison plains, for example, quickly exchanged information with the frontier Hispanos about the sport of buffalo hunting.

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  • Los Ciboleros in the Panhandle.
  • Los Ciboleros in the Panhandle;

This process developed one of the most symbolic of the 18th- and 19th centuryfrontiersman in the Southwest: the thrilling, sportive, distinctive cibolero of the eastern bison plains. The Llano served as the chief acculturation point for many ciboleros, a point where ideas, words, goods, and practices flowed between east and west. The cibolero also facilitated the survival of whole populations, augmenting the ancient flow of bison meat from plain to valley, gradually supplanting and transforming the many hundreds of former native traders.

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The cibolero way of life ended by the late s with the destruction of the American bison. Ciboleros are still remembered in New Mexican folk songs, cultural events, and family oral traditions. Ciboleros are an integral part of some works of fiction dealing with the Southwest and the American West. The novel Cibolero , set against the backdrop of Spanish to Mexican rule, includes descriptions of early 19th century buffalo hunts.

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Girish Mahajan Editor Im a travel junky who loves to gain knowledge coz u know knowledge is power. Updated on Feb 14, Like Comment Share. Trailer for the novel cibolero.

  1. What is "cibolero".
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