Dick: Weaving Reatas

Dick Schorr. Faces of the Festival 2018. Photo by Steven Meckler

This is called braiding rawhide, which are called reatas. I learned this when I was 11 years old. I got my first cowhide on the ranch down here in the Huachuca mountains, and been at it ever since. I was taught by a Mexican cowboy named Aurelio Duran. Now I’m going out to festivals like this to show people how to do it. It’s a rather dying art. It takes 70 hours to make a rope 85 feet long. How much would you pay a person for that? People don’t want to buy a rope like that when they can go to and buy a rope for $40 or $50. Why should they pay $500, $600, $800?  Reata making is thousands of years old. In Mongolia with the ox. Afghanistan. Laplanders with reindeer. All of these nomadic peoples had to have a hide to use to catch and restrain an animal. So it doesn’t just start as a cowboy deal or something in Mexico. It really has a long tradition. And I just feel like I’m gonna try to keep that a little bit alive anywhere.

-Dick

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