Wild West exhibition



  • A show featuring a demonstration of US frontier survival skillsand scenes of Native American life. This type of entertainment waspopular in America in the late 19th century and continued in somerural areas until shortly after World War II.

    The first such entertainment was P. T. Barnum's IndianLife, or A Chance for a Wife (1874). A vogue was then establishedby William Cody, known as Buffalo Bill, who collaboratedwith Ned Buntline on the play Scouts of the Prairie and starredin it at New York's Bowery Theatre in 1874. By 1884 Cody was touringwith his own Wild West show, with the sharp-shooter Annie Oakley asone of its stars (see Annie Get Your Gun). The following yearthe show became part of Steele Mackaye's Drama of Civilizationin New York. Cody's troupe merged with Pawnee Bill's in 1909 and eventuallywent bankrupt.

    The Miller Brothers and Edward Arlington's Wild West Showflourished between 1908 and 1916 and was revived in the late 1920s.After this Wild West acts were mainly limited to brief exhibitionsin rodeos and closing acts at circuses.