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The Portal to Texas History

My Texas History Notebook

Cattle Branding


Cattle and ranching are not only a Texas tradition, but also an important part of the Texas economy. rancher Livestock, including cattle, was first introduced to Spanish Texas when the Spaniards were in the process of colonizing. The missions and forts would have ranches to maintain their livestock herds.

As disputes over Texas land occurred over time, the Spaniards livestock numbers were depleted. During this time, Americans were traveling westward for land opportunities. The Americans began modeling their own ranching techniques after that of the Spaniards. Many of the skills, words, and equipment that American cowboys use today were taken from the Spanish vacqueros.

In this lesson, students will analyze pictures and answer questions from the slide show to find out more about the cattle branding history and learn how to read brands. They will use a Venn diagram to record the similarities and differences between American and Spanish branding influences. They will design their own brand with a partner. They may showcase their product to their classmates and discuss their findings.

By Jenny Thomason