National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Exhibition

Chemon Mora, photo by Trudi Angell
Photo by Trudi Angell

The Life and Legacy of Ranching
in Baja California Sur
January 20 - September 12, 2015

Wiegand Gallery at the Western Folklife Center
501 Railroad Street, Elko NV

Opening Reception during the
31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering:
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Special guests only beginning at 3:30pm
General public beginning at 4:30pm

This educational and artful exhibition designed by guest curator Fermín Regadas-Dahl and creative director Carlos César Díaz Castro, showcases the unique landscape, history, living heritage and artistry of the ranching communities of Baja California Sur.

The geographical focus of the exhibition are the major sierras of Baja California Sur – San Francisco, Guadalupe, La Giganta, and La Laguna - which are inhabited by rancheros. The economy of all these ranches is based on livestock: goats in the northern sierras and cattle in the southern ones. Visitors will learn about the early introduction of agriculture and cattle to the peninsula in the 17th and 18th centuries.                                                                      Ranchero, Photo by Fermin Regadas-Dahl
Photo by Fermín Regadas-Dahl
Dario Higuera stamping leather, Photo by Fermin Regadas-Dahl
Photo by Fermín Regadas-Dahl
Visitors will also get a glimpse of the handcrafted living and gathering places on these remote ranches, as well as the technology and modern communications systems being used to stay current. The kitchen, with its typical hornilla (burner) and cooking area; the bedroom with its cama de lias (bed of strips), quilts and shrine; and the working area with a sewing machine, leatherwork table and cheese press. And, most importantly, the "tack room" of trappings unique to Baja California Sur ranch country, including saddles, cuera (tanned leather jacket), and other traditional gear.
Photographs, paintings and stories depict the seasonal and social activities that are an important part of everyday life for ranch families, including irrigation, orchard and plant production, markets, festivals, dances, fiestas patronales (patron saint festivals), weddings, burials and cabalgatas (horse-back rides). Comondu Panocha, Photo by Fermin Regadas-Dahl
Photo by Fermín Regadas-Dahl

Some items in the exhibition can be purchased through the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop.

Don Antonio making cheese, Photo by Fermin Regadas-Dahl
Photo by Fermín Regadas-Dahl
The Life and Legacy of Ranching in Baja California Sur features the work of: Artist Carlos Cesar Díaz Castro; Photographers Fermín Reygadas Dahl, Javier Rodríguez Descalzo, Harry Crosby, Elizabeth Moreno Damm, Alejandro Rivas Sánchez, Miguel Ángel de la Cueva, Mario Rodríguez Rodríguez, Karla Fernanda Amao, and Javier Arce Meza; and Artisans Dario Higuera Meza, Juan Gabriel Arce Arce, Guillermo Bastida and Yolanda Castillo Cota.

Thank you to the Reygadas-Robles-Gil Collection for the loan of many of the items on display.

Special thanks to these institutions for their contributions: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Instituto Sudcaliforniano de Cultura, Centro de Artes Tradiciones y Culturas Populares de Baja California Sur, Dirección del Fideicomiso de Turismo Estatal, Christopher Alexter Amador Cervantes, Jose Guadalupe Ojeda Aguilar, Luis Palacios Larrañaga, and the University of California-San Diego, Special Collections & Archives.

This exhibition was made possible through the invaluable support of the E.L. Cord Foundation,  Margaret T. Morris Foundation, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Barrick Gold of North America, Inc., Newmont Mining Corporation, Sage Foundation, Byrns Painting, Llc, and other businesses and individuals.