A Woman’s Touch

On a recent trip to the Colorado State Archives I explored Standard Brand Book A. This huge 18 x 24 volume compiled rancher’s brands recorded by Colorado’s county clerks beginning in 1885. Each record included a precise drawing of the branding mark that identified livestock owned by a particular rancher.  The marks were composed mostly of letters, numbers, straight lines, circles, and half circles. Many were quite similar and I could see how easy it might be to confuse them. As I turned the pages,  one brand stood out. It was the simple but distinct outline of an earthen water jar–a utensil used for centuries by the women of the Southwest.  The registered owner of this unique brand was Pauline Conrad of Conejos County, one of the few women listed among the pages of early brand marks.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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