Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Wild West Photos That Depict What Life Was Really Like.

A Native Life For Me

We can thank comic strips, pop culture depictions, and hundreds of western films for giving us an idea as to what life was like in the Old West. But most of those things are inspired by legends. If you really want to see what the Old West was like, you need proof like these photos.

A Native Life For Me

Benjamin Powelson/Public Domain

In 1851, Olive Oatman's family was traveling to California when a tribe of Native Americans attacked them. Olive was captured along with her seven-year-old sister, who eventually starved to death. Olive was then traded to the Mohave people and spent five years among them. Over time, she became a part of the tribe, as you can tell from her chin tattoos. Now, if you have a fear of germs, you might not have enjoyed the Old West as much.

Cowboys Reeked

Cowboys Reeked

Arizona Rangers Fredrikstad/Public Domain

In the 19th century, bathing involved filling a tub up with boiling water and then scrubbing your body using a flannel and some soap. But the Cowboys were so nomadic that they rarely had access to tubs. So, instead, they took a dip in a river or lake to clean the stench and dirt off. You might know Buffalo Bill by name, but do you know what made him so famous?

Wild West Circus

Wild West Circus

Royale Photographie/Public Domain

Former Union Soldier William Cody founded "Buffalo Bill's Wild West," which was a circus-type attraction that toured the country and became an American icon at the time. It even toured Europe. The acts included sharpshooter demonstrations, gunfight reenactments, Native grass dancers and more. But when you think of the Old West, we doubt Chinese immigrants even cross your mind. But this next slide might make you change your tune.

East Meets The Old West

East Meets The Old West

In the 19th century, Chinese immigrants first arrived on the East coast to trade. But during the California Gold Rush, the immigrants headed west. At the time, Southern China was dealing with economic issues, prompting folks from Guangdong province to journey to California to dig in the gold mines. Did you know that the world's oldest profession was? Apparently, they were quite popular in the mighty Old West.

The Old West Working Girls

The Old West Working Girls

Public Domain

Prostitution wasn't just common in the Old West, it thrived. These two women traveled to Dawson City and Ketchikan in Alaska. Although the journey was tricky, most prostitutes traveled to the mining camps to offer their services to the men who were desperate for some TLC and had plenty of money to pay for it. This next photography suggests you're seeing a young boy being a tough guy. But you'd be wrong, at least about the tough guy part.

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