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The Origin of the Bolo Tie

The history of the bolo ties is a bit shaky in respect to the men's fashion industry, even though women have been known to wear bolo ties as well. Actually, people from far and wide have taken on the look and established a personal liking to bolos, whether Navajo Indians of the American southwest or rock 'n' roll legends like Bruce Springsteen. Bolo tie history is an interesting tale to sort through; however, all of the information gathered about this interesting tie as of yet, comes down to a few main particulars.

History of Bolo Ties

Some people recall Native American men wearing bandanas around their neck, held together by a "shell like structure" during the 1930s as the launch of the bolo tie. However, other sources give an Arizona silversmith the credit with devising the bolo tie after being praised on the tie from hat strings around his neck.

Despite whoever "claims" to have invented the bolo tie, these ties have been a dynamic of the Native American jewelry and silver smith legend for many decades. Both the ornate clasp holding the braided or leather cords, the bolo, and the silvertips, frequently exhibits the meticulousness and artistry attributed to Hopi Indian and Navajo Indian jewelry.

Even though the bolo tie style is deeply rooted in Native American jewelry, a man by the name of Victor Cedarstaff is credited with taking the bolo tie to the next level. He even patented the design. The narrative goes that Cedarstaff wore a silver trimmed strip around his hat. Not wanting to lose it, he wore the trim around his collar. Someone commented on how attractive the idea looked and Cedarstaff soon produced the first bola tie. Perhaps, calling Cedarstaff's tie the "first" bolo tie is stretching it a bit. After all, the Native Americans were the first to actually conceptualize the idea. Maybe we can rightly say that Cedarstaff was the first to "claim" ownership or "commercialize" the bolo tie.

During the 1930s when Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo men wore their bandannas around their necks, other men used string. This is probably the biggest difference in the bolo tie concept. However, the idea of using a clasp is prevalent with both styles. Other regions wore a version of the bolo tie as well. Past the southwest, Argentine cowboys wore their version of this simple tie with leather straps. Other scholars identify with the American pioneer custom of putting modified ties or kerchiefs around their necks through the median to late 1800s. Nonetheless, published documents of bolo ties do not begin until 1953.


One of the difficulties with investigating the history of bolo ties is that the name of the tie itself has altered during the previous 60 to 70 years. Other names for this simple but elegant tie is Gaucho Tie, String Tie, Neck Rope, Emblem Lariat, Western Tie, Cowboy Tie, Thong Tie, Mono Loop Tie, Sport Tie, Western Bolo Tie, and more! The bolo tie has become a fashion classic in its own way. It is certainly an accessory that both men and women can easily wear. If you would like to add a classic yet sophisticated look to your accessory collection, the bolo tie is the way to go.

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