Skip to comments.The last cowboys: Stunning black and white images show a rugged and romantic piece of Americana ...
Posted on 08/27/2012 6:11:33 AM PDT by Daffynition
Breath-taking photographs have captured America's last cowboys, as the age-old profession, or art-form, all but dies out.
A national icon, and an integral part of the country's story, the cowboy is a romantic, rugged metaphor for America's frontier past -- and one that has captivated Hollywood for decades.
For years, photographer Adam Jahiel has been taking pictures of the cowboys of Nevada's Great Basin, perhaps one of the most inhospitable regions of the already harsh West.
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The Last Cowboys: Real Americans....the few...very few....damn few...
The one where all the horses are in a circle, facing out, is interesting. I wonder what the hell is going on?
Great pictures..however, no side arms or saddle rings that I could see in ANY picture...must have been after 1900....
LOl, a lot of those pictures could have come out of my family album. My husband’s grandfather took pictures of everything from Pancho Villa’s raid to everyday cowboy life and his mother always photographed brandings.
The Great Basin is a harsh, austere work of natural art. My work takes me there regularly. And, yes, I often stumble upon herds of wild horses.
Interestingly enough, I occasionally stumble upon the "cousin" of the cowboy -- the shepherd. In some very remote places in the mountains and valleys of northern Nevada, I'll run into a lone Basque shepherd (often with dogs) tending to a large flock of free-ranging sheep. I'll find their tiny trailers out in these remote places too.
In the most beautiful state in the Union, Nevada keeps the tradition of the Romantic West alive.
Thanks for sharing these photos!
Great photos! I love one of the comments posted by a female reader from London: “I bet those men don’t get their eyebrows plucked and chests waxed, Hmmm.......lovely !”
They are tied up -— to a line that’s been staked in a circle. Cowboys are choosing their horses for the day.
looks like they’re tied dowm
America’s last cowboys?
The ‘journalist’/photographer apparently has not been in the western USA.
There are still many real cowboys.
Awesome pics. I think that it’s interesting that Hollywood got a lot of the imagery right.
If you close you'll see they're tied to a picket line
If you look close you'll see they're tied to a picket line
It looks like some of them are 1970-80s time period. In one pic I see a modern looking plastic spray bottle. Still great pictures!
The last pic has a pair of Nikes. I didn’t know Nike was such an iconic 19th Century company.
Looks like a wild horse round up? Circled up and tied to a picket line sounds right. And, as someone said, you can tell the “real” cowboys from the wanna be’s quite easily. The ruggedness of NV is why we decided to leave FL and move here. I heard someone comment that the closest thing to Afghanistan (terrain wise) is NV. Now, if we could just get rid of hairy reed and the clowns in Vegas. LOL! Northern NV ROCKS!
Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years.
When I run across photos like these, my heart laments, that my little grand daughter is growing up without the advantage of cowboy heroes like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
Instead she is exposed to androgynous figures like Lady Gaga and Justin Beeper. Ick. :(
Great old pictures but there ARE still cowboys out there, LOTS of cowboys. They don’t drive herds of cattle for hundreds of miles across the country but they still round them up and put them on tractor trailer trucks and they are hauled to market. Then they put their horses and dogs into trailers and haul them back home.
The Mail posts some of these “lost” photos of America from time to time and I love it. But why aren’t American papers doing this? Why do we have to read Brit papers to find articles regarding the bastard in the White House and his antics? American Journos are hacks.
I agree. If you take a camera shooting black and white anywhere outside Fort Worth and start clicking a lot of these photos could be duplicated, especially the one with the dog in the bed of the pickup.
Beautiful pics. Always interesting to contrast the romanticized and the real, hard life of cowboys...
These pictures look like they were taken off at Hollywood movie set. They remind me of Ansel Adams.
The Marlboro Man comes close to the real thing, doesn’t he?
Looks like you have a project...to create/produce a book...when you retire.
Do you have the photos?
Great pictures all in favorites however I think the first picture was actually Don Imus.
The pictures have been shot recently. He just chooses black and white for artistic reasons.
This group of horses comprise a remuda and they are being individually caught for the day’s use.
In the early morning hours, each rider will throw a loop and catch a horse that belongs to them. Depending upon the amount of work for the day, they may go back and get a fresh one.
There is just something very special about black and white photographs! My niece in New Orleans is a photographer, and she works almost exclusively in black and white.
I met the girlfriend of the Marlboro Man’s brother in Santa Fe NM. Did you know that the original Marlboro Man died of lung cancer?
We have Cowboys round here.
They go work the cattle get them on trucks and then go home with thier horse and dog.
I love to watch them work Horse, Dog, and Man all moving one of the dumbest creatures ever to where they dont want to go.
It can be like poetry in motion when watching them I have spent more than one lunch hour watching them work.
“But why arent American papers doing this? Why do we have to read Brit papers to find articles regarding the bastard in the White House and his antics? American Journos are hacks.”
Probably because the “American Journos” “get their eyebrows plucked and chests waxed, plus their editors are afraid of folks in flyover country.
Another thing to notice from the pic collection is there's no long hair, beards, or Hollywood 'cowboy' mustaches on these Nevada ropers. You wake up, you wash your face and shave clean. You get haircuts when you go into town. That's the rules at least in this state. I've never seen them look any different.
***The Marlboro Man comes close to the real thing, doesnt he?***
Marlboro was originally a cigarette for ladies till the advertising department took aim at men and used the cowboy as a way to get men to smoke this lady’s cigarette.
One Marlboro man died when his green horse fell in a pond and the rider died.
Another Marlboro man died of lung cancer.
Well, viewing these put me in another place there for a half-hour or so — wonderful.
But — can someone tell me what to do with the red X’s, please.
Diminishing maybe, but not dead. Most of the stockmen (and ladies) I know have second jobs because the cattle economy operates on such a thin margin and lately there are huge impending feed and fuel issues. Helped a pair of friends hitch their trailer up over the weekend - it had been parked on my property for more than a year - and they’re going to flail away at it one more time, God bless ‘em.
“Great pictures..however, no side arms or saddle rings that I could see in ANY picture...must have been after 1900....”
WAY “after 1900”.
These are NOT “old photos”, but from recent years in the not-too-distant past.
Go to the photographer’s page, here:
There is a slideshow with 52 images.
There’s also a pic of Adam Jahiel, the photographer, and he appears to be in his mid-40’s to early 50’s.
The pictures are wonderful, but they are not “old”, per se. One might infer that from the title of the original Daily Mail article...
I’m often reluctant to post DM stuff....but it does publish stuff that is occasionally unvarnished.
I think you answered your own question.....we don’t have journalists/journalism in the USA any longer.
Not those in the story but originals of the west since around the late 1800s. I have some and my MIL has hundreds. I live in a small town and know all the ranchers and could probably access thousands of them.
A few years ago we were the presidents of the Old Timer’s Association and I put together a presentation and I used just a few. I loved most the one with the horse loaded in a Model T with my husband’s grandmother driving.
We have pictures of family members spanning 100 yrs and 6 generations in the same place on a mountain.
We have often started sorting the pictures but we never get through them.
Washington, D.C., 1919. "Ralph E. Madsen, the tall cowboy, at White House." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative
Giant Ready for Draft
Tacoma will send a young giant into the National army when Ralph E. Madsen, twenty-one years old, is called for service. He is 7 feet 3 inches tall. Madsen is advertising shows, using his great height to advantage. He weighs 210 pounds and was born in Kansas, where his parents still reside. "Down on the old home farm the folks fed me real food and it made me grow tall," Madsen told the draft board. "I am rady to go, and I think I can be of some use in the big fracas with my altitude."
The Woodville Republican, March 29, 1919