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By: Auston Maise
Mexicans brought important mining traditions to the Americas. Mexican mining happened in three waves: gold, silver, and copper. The tools that were used to mine included the riffle box, the arrastra, and the batea. The gold that was mined came from the quartz veins from the Sierra Nevada.
Mexican Cattle Ranching
The Spanish were the first ones to import cattle into America. The cattle that reached America were used to the dry climate and adapted well to it. Western cattle ranches were huge compared to ranches in the east. Ranching was considered to be a very profitable business.
Mexican Sheep Raising
Not only did the Spanish bring cattle to America, but they also brought sheep. Sheep raising had always been a major part of Spanish life. Once the Americans learned how to raise sheep, raising sheep came to be a very profitable business. There were many different positions in the business of raising sheep. Some positions included the patron and the pastor (herder).
American cowboys learned skills and techniques and borrowed clothing from the Mexican vaqueros. Some examples of items that the Americans borrowed from the vaqueros include the ten gallon hat, chaps, the pointed-toe boot, and the poncho. One skill that the vaqueros taught the Americans was to use a rope to corral cattle in. This proved to be very useful to the Americans.
Mexican architecture became popular during the colonial period. Since there was not much wood in Mexico, Mexican architects used adobe instead to build homes. Mexican architecture was considered to be simple and attractive. Americans realized the usefulness of adobe and started using the material to build many buildings.
The conquest of Mexico in 1521 started a great food revolution. When searching for gold, the Spanish found many new and distinct Indian foods. They brought these foods back to Spain and the foods spread throughout Europe. Mexican cooks used this new food and combined it with old world foods to create flavorful dishes that were distinctly Mexican.
Mexican music influenced and inspired the creation of Country and Western music in the Southwest. The most important music contribution was the corrido, or folk ballad. This was a story sung accompanied by guitars. Some favorite Mexican dances include the jota, the fadango, and the la bamba. Fiestas and rodeos were two main and popular Mexican events that were held.
Overall the Mexicans have contributed many important ideas and ways of life to us.