The cowboy culture is a way of life, especially in wild west places like New Mexico—and many who live that life are being honored in a national hall of fame.
When you think of the wild west, New Mexico often comes to mind. With our vast, rugged territory, Native American culture, wild horses, even yearly re-enacted shootouts. That rugged landscape and the people who live here have earned a spot in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame located inside the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
“This museum is a place where both the extraordinary and the ordinary tasks of people are examined in unique, integral ways,” states a museum video.
Hall of Famers include Buffalo Bill and actor Kevin Costner. Even though it’s in Oklahoma, you’ll find a handful of New Mexicans in the Hall of Fame, like author and poet Squire Omar Barker.
“Now they might be selling ribbons or might be slanging hash, but they got a roof above them when the thunder starts to crash,” said in a recording from Barker’s poems.
To Solomon Luna, who not only lived in the famous Luna Mansion in Los Lunas, but is the person the village is named after, as well as Luna County in southwestern New Mexico.
“They were definitely a hearding family,” said the Luna Mansion property manager.
And others, like fourth-generation rancher Linda Davis.
“I could pin cattle, I could work cattle,” said Davis in the museum’s video. “During the war years, it was the kids and the women and the older men that kept the ranches going, and we were all in the business to produce beef in the military.”
It’s New Mexicans like these that either artistically or realistically portrayed the significance of the cowboy way of life.
“You’re so steeped in it and you’ve done it always and have done it for generations, and we can’t conceive of living any other way,” said Davis in the museum’s video.
The museum said it doesn’t induct people into the Hall of Fame often, but about 15 New Mexicans have been awarded the honor.