The untold story of the Hispanic riders and ropers who created the cowboy. ""The men who rode the mustangs, tended the cattle, and invented all the techniques of cattle raising in America were called vaqueros and they were the world's first cowboys."" Did you know that vaqueros invented ... the rodeo? the cowboy hat? chaps? and many lasso tosses? Almost everything we associate with cowboys-how they rode, roped, dressed, and lived--began with vaqueros. These Spanish-speaking cowmen developed their skills on missions and ranches throughout Mexico and the Southwest, even in Hawaii, but they have disappeared from history. Martin Sandler, author of the popular book "Cowboys," extends to vaqueros his lively, informed, heavily illustrated treatment. He highlights vaquero clothing and vocabulary and shows in words and pictures vaqueros on horseback, leading roundups, branding, lassoing and tying. The book retells legends of the vaqueros and recounts true stories of vaquero valor, loyalty, heroism and courage. Readers meet Ramon Amuhada, who is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame; great ropers such as Pablo Romero and Jose Berrara; valiant riders, including Antonio Jose Esquival; and other true American heros. "Vaqueros" will appeal to cowboy fans across the country, and should be shelved in every library and bookstore next to books on African-American and white cowmen.