Embassy and Partners Celebrate Buffalo Bill's Georgian Horseback Riders at a “Wild West Show”
On Saturday, June 11, 2005, the U.S. Embassy, the Georgian Glass & Mineral Water Company and the Georgian National Museum hosted a “Wild West” celebration honoring the participation of Georgian horseback riders in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The celebration took place at the Georgian National Open Air Museum of Ethnography. The event promoted cultural understanding between Georgians and Americans by illustrating their shared history.
The celebration opened with two horseback riders dressed in Georgian and American cowboy outfits cutting a red ribbon. Once the ribbon was cut, the public was able to see a photograph exhibition honoring the Georgian horseback riders. The compilation of photographs is from Irakli Makharadze’s personal collection. Mr. Makharadze, who attended the event, is a Georgian film director who has spent more than a decade researching Georgian horseback riders/performers in American and Georgian archives. His research shows that most people believed the riders were “Russian Cossacks,” though they were from Guria (a western part of Georgia).
Gurian folk singers, American country music, dancing, games and food entertained young and old alike. “Wild West” tee shirts, coffee mugs and pins were sold to raise money for future programs at the Georgian National Museum. Local and national media covered the well-attended event and helped inform Americans and Georgians about this unique historical connection between their two countries.