Lei burial honors 1908 Cheyenne Frontier Days roping champ

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 9:43 AM CDT
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A cowboy from Hawaii who won a top prize at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo has been honored over a century later.

A lei brought to Cheyenne by Ikua Purdy's grandson has been buried in the famous rodeo arena. Purdy won steer roping at Frontier Days in 1908. Purdy was a paniolo, a Hawaiian cowboy from a tradition related to Mexican and Spanish vaqueros.

Purdy's grandson made the lei with leaves from Hawaii and hung it in a museum near the Frontier Days arena in 2018. Museum officials say they wanted to continue to honor Purdy after the lei began to fall apart.

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