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The management, for the edification of their patrons, have issued a statement to the effect that Prince Ivan Makharadze, who is in command, and his companions belong to the branch of the great Cossack family, the Zaporogians, immortalised by Byron's "Mazeppa," and that Mazeppa was the hetman, or chief, of the Zaparogian community of the Cossacks of the Ukraine. We are further informed that the Cossacks of the Caucasian line have long enjoyed the reputation of being the flower of that vast horde of irregular cavalry, the Cossack military colonies, that have been planted along the southern frontier of the Russian Empire from the Crimea to the Chinese border on the Pacific, and that Circassian blood plainly crops out in the Cossacks of the Buffalo Bill Wild West arena.

On Wednesday we saw ten sturdy horsemen advancing to the front, and we heard them indulging in a curious chant. Tethering their horses—or the horses that have been lent them—they clapped their hands while two or three of their number went through some novel dancing that was quick and expert, and that called forth a deal of cheering.

They then remounted and gave a remarkable exhibition of equestrian skill, some of them sitting with their faces to their animals' tails while they were swiftly borne around the arena.

Cossacks, Indians And Buffalo Bill

Only Indians and cowboys enjoyed similar popularity. Cossacks became an essential feature of every respectable show of that time. In general, the Georgians' decision to travel to distant lands was based on financial hardship—touring meant profits.

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However, on occasion group leaders were targeted with bribes in their native villages. The price of a cow in Georgia in those days was rubles. Those Georgians who found themselves stuck in the States, mostly in Chicago, continued performing in Miller and Ringling Brothers' circuses and returned to their homeland only when the war was over.

Many Georgians settled down to create typical American families and lost ties with their homeland. Hard times were ahead for those who returned to Georgia as well.

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On the grounds that they all were American spies, most of the riders were imprisoned and exiled by the Bolsheviks. In , Ivane Baramidze was captured at the railway station and his fate is unknown.

It is known that Ivane Makharadze had a well-tamed horse, and when Bolsheviks came into Georgia and demanded his horse, he refused to give it to them. Many riders had to destroy all evidence and photographs of their trips abroad in order to survive living in the new regime's iron hands.

Early years

Oftentimes various random and unrelated titles were given to these photos. Another example is the photo taken in New York, where the Gurians sat in a car with different members of the show.


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The back of the picture states: "Gurian riders united with local asylees" which of course was not true. There were cases when riders were forced to sign a document in which they promised never to mention America or Europe again.

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Lehigh author’s grandfather was in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows

I picked this up at Buffalo Bill's birthplace. It looked quite interesting. Georgian's still a small enough author he details every book he sold on his website. Still, there's no doubt, this is a professional book.

Georgian's grandfather was a "Cossack" rider who rode in the Wild West shows of the early 20th Century. They toured across America portraying the viciou I picked this up at Buffalo Bill's birthplace. They toured across America portraying the vicious Coosack Russian riders of the Czar,; though in real life, they were Georgians who were tortured by the actual Cossacks Georgians wanted independence and their own culture, not much has changed and the book ends as first Czarist Russia and then the Bolsheviks torture and persecute the Georgians back home.

It is a fascinating book in that Georgian uses his grandfather's diaries as well as a bunch of other contemporary sources like newspapers of the day, where it almost reads like an actual journal. It was Buffalo Bill and his traveling show that advertised the best riders in the world, which got the Georgians their chance to shine. In the twenty or so years of the glory days of the Wild West shows, every show wanted a troupe of Cossacks, and in most cases, they were the highlights of the shows.

Their trick riding setting the standard of the day and through today. So we get Cody's story as well, from his visits with Presidents and European royalty to his bankruptcy and death; as well as some insight into the Indians who traveled with him how they were treated, some of their experiences.

Those Aren't Russian Cossacks! - True West Magazine

I find the Wild West shows interesting, and there are plenty of stories of 'circus life'. If you want some insight into the early 20th century circuses and the 'Hey Rube' antics and activities of circus life, this is about as good as a book about that as there is. There's a few levels of things this book covers, and it is an interesting look at that time frame of or so, and many small towns many I am familiar with across the midwest show up. Motion pictures eventually seem to be the undoing of the Wild West shows, though one gets the feeling it was really the expense that killed them off.