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Merlin Rupp - Mane Horsehair Mecates and Cinches / Rawhide Riatas and Hondas Making

Merlin Rupp (Hines) is one of the finest makers of mane horsehair mecates (reins) and cinches. A working buckaroo, Rupp braids rawhide riatas (lassoes), and hondas (lasso knot). He considers himself one of the last true buckaroos.

Bio

After several decades working ranches across the region, Merlin Rupp settled down in his new home outside of Burns. Though his buckarooing days were cut short by a high-spirited horse that toppled over on him, breaking his neck, Rupp has become one of the finest makers of mane horsehair mecates and cinches in the region and beyond. He also braids riatas (lassoes) and hondas.

To twist the horsehair, Rupp begins by attaching the hair to a hook mounted on a rotating spindle. As he draws the horsehair out, adding more with each rotation, he takes care not to break the fibers. At frequent intervals, he tugs on a pulley line that is fastened to the spindle. With each tug on the pulley line, the spindle rotates, twisting the horsehair fibers, and in turn, creating the makings of a strand. It takes six strands of twisted horsehair to make up a Merlin Rupp 5/8" mecate. The horsehair comes from two sources: good friends, and commercial vendors who market horsehair from China and Mongolia.

These days, Rupp considers himself one of the last true vaquero buckaroos. "Nice bridled up horse, the buckaroo lassoing, his riata stretched way out there...that's what impresses me...when you rope cattle, the ropes got to be out at least 60 feet or it ain't no good to you."

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Name - rupp

Contact

Merlin Rupp
P.O. Box 897
Hines, OR, 97738
(541) 573-3165

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