Early Tejano Ranching

Early Tejano Ranching : Daily Life at Ranchos San Jose and El Fresnillo

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For two and a half centuries Tejanos have lived and ranched on the land of South Texas, establishing many homesteads and communities. This modest book tells the story of one such family, the Saenzes, who established Ranchos San Jose and El Fresnillo. Obtaining land grants from the municipality of Mier in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, these settlers crossed the Wild Horse Desert, known as Desierto Muerto, into present-day Duval County in the 1850s and 1860s. Through the simple, direct telling of his family's stories, Andres Saenz lets readers learn about their homes of piedra (stone) and sillares (large blocks of limestone or sandstone), as well as the jacales (thatched-roof log huts) in which people of more modest means lived. He describes the cattle raising that formed the basis of Texas ranching, the carts used for transporting goods, the ways curanderas treated the sick, the food people ate, and how they cooked it. Marriages and deaths, feasts and droughts, education, and domestic arts are all recreated through the words of this descendent, who recorded the stories handed down through generations. The accounts celebrate a way of life without glamorizing it or distorting the hardships. The many photographs record a picturesque past in fascinating images. Those who seek to understand the ranching and ethnic heritage of Texas will enjoy and profit from Early Tejano Ranching.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 294.83g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • Texas A&m Univ PR ed.
  • 41 b&w photos., 2 line drawings., 2 maps., Gloss.
  • 1585441635
  • 9781585441631
  • 2,429,471

About Andres Saenz

ANDRES SAENZ was born in 1927 on the Rancho de Santa Cruz in Duval County, Texas. In 1997 he donated his family's accounts to the Institute of Texan Cultures, which commissioned ANDRES TIJERINA, a professor of history at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas, to edit them into this account. Tijerina is author of the award-winning Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos, also published by Texas A&M University Press.show more

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