This cowboy fits the description (at least the top half!) given in an 1871 Kansas newspaper: “His dress consists of a flannel shirt with a handkerchief encircling his neck, butternut pants and a pair of long boots, in which are always the legs of his pants. His head is covered by a sombrero, which is a Mexican hat with a high crown and a brim of enormous dimensions.”
The original cowboys were Mexican cattlemen, vaqueros. They are everything you imagine a cowboy to be. They came up with all of the cowboy lingo, including "bronco," "lariat," & "stampede." Vaqueros rode the long-haul cattle drives. Their sombreros were the precursor to cowboy hats. They wore chaps, held rodeos & lived the life of a cowboy for some 200 years. White settlers did the right thing, stealing the culture, including the title of "vaqueros," which was turned into "buckaroos."