Dangberg Home Ranch in Minden hosting bullwhip instructor Doc Durden
Professional bullwhip instructor Doc Durden will share his talent in a free presentation at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, when he will demonstrate the use of whips in both ability and marksmanship.
The term “bullwhip” is unique to the cowboys and buckaroos of the old West. The bullwhip was introduced to the United States by the Spanish Vaqueros. The Spanish, in turn, migrated into Mexico and taught the talent to the ranch hands of the old West. In the latter half of the 20th century, attempts to preserve traditional crafts, along with a resurgence of interest in Western performance arts, led to an increased interest in whip cracking as a hobby, performance art and competitive sport. The motion picture “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” in which the hero uses a bullwhip as both a tool and a weapon, generated increased interest as well.
Saturday’s event offers an opportunity for audience participation and brief instruction. Durden claims a 99 percent success rate in teaching anyone to snap a whip for the first time after 15 minutes of instruction.
Durden at times appears as “Wild Bill Hickok” and uses the bullwhip to enhance his character portrayals. He is also a casting director, producer and videographer who has appeared on the Discovery Channel and HBO, and more. His most recent production, “The Evil Twin,” is a Western filmed in Virginia City.
The free presentation is part of the park’s Arts and Traditions of the American West series. Alpen Sierra Coffee Company provides coffee for visitors, and 88 Cups & More Coffee Shop provides baked treats. Sponsors include: Bently Ranch, SoaringNV, The Record-Courier and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation.
For more information, go to dangberghomeranch.org, or call 775-783-9417.