Summary Of Rodeo By Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence

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Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence is an anthropologist who performed fieldwork in the Great Plains region in the United States. She is a trained clinical veterinary practitioner and the holder of a PhD. in Anthropology. Her interest in the sport of the rodeo developed in 1975 while in Montana studying the significance of the horse among the Crow Indians. Appropriately, she focused her work on the interactions between members in the Great Plains states and their animals – primarily the horse and cattle. In her ethnography, Rodeo: An Anthropologist Looks at the Wild and the Time, she shows readers that rodeo contestants, and the animals they ride, rope, and wrestle move not only in the area of chutes and ranges, but also in a world of symbols and metaphors. Lawrence notes that through the multitude of rodeo events such as bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, and bronc riding are symbolic meanings that stand for the wild, feral qualities of nature; and that tameness and subordination imposed by human, and material, intervention over the animal are exhibited. Simply put, the rodeo is more than a sport. It is a rite that perpetuates the American Western life. As …show more content…

From the feral horse to the pickup horse, the gamut of the equine species conveys progressive degrees of a man’s control and dominance over them. It is a gamut of wild to tame, nature to culture (167). The equine species bridge the realms of nature and culture through its capacity for participation in both ends of the spectrum. However, it is important to note the paradox of complete dominance over the animal as a cowboy may feel a sense of personal identification with power and freedom represented by the horse even though the cowboy’s intent is to control that power and

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