Paniolo Skills

Read or distribute the text below that describes the skills and work of the paniolo.  After reading, guide students to draw a picture that captures a paniolo’s life, based on the text.  When finished, ask students to share their drawings and identify which part of the text gave them the idea for their drawing.

Paniolo Skills

The first skill the paniolo needed was horse handling. Most of the early horses in Hawai`i were mustangs, tough strong horses that required a minimum of care. Many were not well trained or were only partially ‘broken’ or well-trained.

Once trained, a 600 – 900-pound horse could carry heavy loads, climb rugged hills and work hard all day. In corralling and driving cattle, they werean essential partner for the paniolo.

The paniolo used their roping skills to control and thin the cattle herds. Paniolos learned to work with leather to create saddles and how to cut and braid rope lariats. In the hours after work, paniolos played guitars, ukuleles and sang.

Paniolo became skilled in transporting cattle from land to sea. Cattle were shipped live and transferred from neighbor islands to the Honolulu stockyards for sale. Paniolo sitting atop their horses swam cattle out through the surf to waiting longboats which then rowed out to the steamer.

Draw a picture of Paniolo Skills

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