The idea of using the skills of the cowboy to entertain and educate people about the ways of the Old West originated in the 1880s. The most famous Wild West show was Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West. These performances captured the public's imagination and turned rodeo into a popular sport.
In the numerous Wild West shows held throughout the country in the late 1800s, Native people gave dramatic performances, re-enacting battle scenes, buffalo hunts, attacks on settlers and ceremonial activities. Soon troupes of Native actors were travelling in Europe, the United States and Australia. Wild West shows provided employment for Native people, and gave them an opportunity to escape the confinement of the reserve, and a means of preserving, although in a limited way, their traditional lifestyle, culture and language.
Today, riding and roping skills are still being sought for Wild West shows. Pat Provost, Piikunii, from Brocket, Alberta; Philip Whiteman, Tse-Tsehése-stahase from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana; and Disneyland Paris are among those who offer such shows.
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Introduction | Indian Days and Parades | Wild West Shows | Indian Villages and Pow-wows | Mounted Police | Entertainers | Motion Picture Industry
SACRED BEINGS | RANCHING | ENTERTAINMENT | RODEO | ARTS AND INDUSTRIES