At the 2005 Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum, Idaho, Western Folklife Center Program Outreach Coordinator Christina Barr had the chance to talk with Teofilo Leon and Edwin Rojas, two former sheepherders from Peru, about their lives, the American West, and the agricultural industry that landed them in Idaho years ago. This episode of Ranch Rhymes brings you those interviews and music from Peru with singers Luzmila, Santos and Alita Arrambide recorded at the 1993 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.
Over the past couple of decades, a majority of sheep ranchers throughout the American West have depended on Peruvian herders to tend their flocks on three-year work contracts. Just like the Basques in the last century, many Peruvians move into other areas of work in the West after they fulfill their obligation to the ranchers.
This podcast was drawn from the Western Folklife Center's archival audio material.