What is Rodeo? Is it a sport? Is it a performance, a circus, or “wild west show”? Is it a historical re-enactment? Rodeo, in fact, contains elements of all those things, with a bit of Indian Pow Wow and Charreria Mexicana thrown in. Michael Allen will show that rodeo is a North American equestrian folk festival that was commercialized and professionalized during the 20th century. If rodeo is a "sport," it is a highly unusual sport, in which participants re-enact elements of the American past exhibiting historic skills with direct ties to the 19th-century North American “cattle kingdom” and ranching frontiers. 

Dr. Michael Allen is a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma, Allen’s books include “Western Rivermen, 1763-1861: Ohio and Mississippi Boatmen and the Myth of the Alligator Horse” “Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination,” published by the University of Nevada Press, and the co-authored (with Larry Schweikart) “A Patriot’s History of the United States.” In 1997, he helped found the Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo Hall of Fame Association and currently helps create museum displays at the Western Culture and Arts Center in Ellensburg.

What is Rodeo Video