October 19, 2016

Recovering Voices from the Archives: Indian Prison Rodeo

I’m in Saint Paul, Minnesota for the Western History Association’s annual conference and to explore the archives at the Minnesota Historical Society related to the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee (WKLDOC for short). It’s an expansive archive that collects 149 boxes related to the organization that defended participants in the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973. Much of it is outside the purview of my dissertation (thankfully I don’t have to read the box upon box of legal proceedings), and given that I only have two days to spelunk through the entire archive, I had to make choices about what I would and would not look at. Read more

December 1, 2015

Peter LaFarge, The Singing Protest Cowboy

Peter LaFarge There’s a fair share of rodeo contestants who have parlayed their time in rodeo into a singing career. Probably most notable is Chris LeDoux, one of the inspirations for Oklahoma State’s own Garth Brooks, who won the 1976 bareback championship at the National Finals Rodeo and sold records out of his truck at rodeo events in the hopes of supporting his rodeo career. LeDoux retained a cult following on the rodeo circuit until Brooks' debut album in 1989 and the song “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” about an aging rodeo contestant who only had “The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze. Read more

November 20, 2015

Finding Nuggets in the Rodeo Dirt

I really enjoyed Clinton Girkin’s blog post on his experiences navigating through various archives, both digital and analog, looking for materials related to our larger women in rodeo archive. While I admit I’ve been behind most of the semester, and have not gotten nearly as much done as I had planned (best laid plans…) I have explored a few avenues looking for sources for both this site and the women in rodeo project. Read more

November 15, 2015

Past and Future of Indian Rodeo in Las Vegas

I was lucky enough to be accepted to present some of my dissertation research at the American Society for Ethnohistory’s 2015 conference in Las Vegas at the Tropicana hotel. I know it’s a hard life, and to break the cardinal rule of Las Vegas, everything that happened there is going on this blog. The Ethnohistory conference is one of the premier conferences for American Indian studies and is always a rich and rewarding experience. Read more

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