Bandana: Cowboy Kerchief

The Western Bandana

cowboy-bandanaBandanas have been around much longer than the Old West days, actually since the medieval days. But I grew up watching American Westerns and so I associate them with cowboys.

Uses of Bandanas (cowboy kerchiefs) for cowboys:

  • A cowboy Band-Aid, possibly as a tourniquet or sling or set a splint
  • Protection from the sun
  • Protection against snow blindness
  • Earmuffs in cold weather
  • Keeping the dust off a cowboy’s neck  while rounding up cattle
  • Tied around the neck and pulled over the mouth and nose as a dust mask
  • As a water filter
  • A pot holder to move a hot pot from the coals at camp
  • A pot holder for branding irons
  • To blindfold a horse if necessary
  • To make an emergency tie on his saddle cinch
  • As a strap or lace
  • To mend a rein or create a makeshift stirrup
  • Tied around a horse’s legs to hobble him while the cowboy fixed his equipment
  • Uses for non-cowboys:
  • Head band to keep hair out of your eyes
  • Western fashion
  • A head scarf
  • Bracelet for leg or wrist
  • Red ones to for help finding you when you get lost out hiking


History of Western Bandana

Cowboy Bits

How to Tie a Cowboy Bandana


By Starla Criser (Starla Kaye)

Previously published on my S.K. Fero website


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