The term “Vaquero” is used to identify the Mexican cowboy. It is based upon the Spanish word for cow, and evolved to refer to men who worked with cattle. Many of the early vaqueros were of mixed race having both Indian and Spanish ancestry. Vaqueros were important to the development of open range cattle ranches and to a host of basic techniques used in ranching. Many of the early cattle drives along the major trails included vaqueros, and early South Texas ranches employed significant numbers of them.