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Exhibit item: FELIX OCTAVIUS CARR DARLEY, 'Native Californians Lassoing a Bear', hand colored engraving on paper, ca. 1873

Exhibit item:
"Native Californians Lassoing a Bear"
Hand colored engraving on paper, ca. 1873

California Vaquero, 1953

"Four of the best vaqueros had their camp at the Lechería, and every night they had everything ready for in the morning. When the bawling of frightened cattle awakened them, they would know the great oso pardo (grizzly bear) was coming down the cordones (ridges) driving the cattle in panic before him.

Taking their best horses, with their reatas heavily tallowed for the first thirty feet from the hondo, they rode out and roped the pardo and killed it with their knives, a dangerous work.

A bear, catching a horse by the tail, could hold and drag him backward, and the reatas were greased so the bear could not pull it toward him and away from the roper.

Tomas Pico, José Hinio, Juan Leivas, and Tomás Valenzuela made up the most effective bear-roping team on the Tejón Ranch in those days."

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