Bolo: The Tie That Won the West
The bolo, or bola, tie is so common in the west today that many people are surprised to find that it is relatively new.
In the late 1940s, a silversmith named Victor Cedarstaff went riding with friends in the Bradshaw Mountains outside Wickenburg, Arizona. When the wind blew his hat off, Cedarstaff removed the hatband, which had a silver buckle he did not want to lose, and put it around his neck.
When his friends complemented him on the new apparel, Cedarstaff returned home, and wove a leather string. He added silver balls to the ends and ran it through a turquoise buckle.
Cedarstaff later patented the new neckwear, which was called the bolo because it resembled the lengths of rope used by Argentine gauchos to catch game or cattle.
Arizona makes it official
Now mass-produced, bolos are usually made of leather cord, with a silver or turquoise buckle. They are common throughout the west and are often worn for business. In 1971 Arizona legislature named the bolo the official state neckwear.