Brands is now on exhibit at the Mission Historical Museum. The exhibition includes illustrations of many historical south Texas cattle brands, as well as several branding irons from the museum’s collection. In the exhibition, you can also learn how to “read” a brand.

Brands have been used to identify livestock for thousands of years. There are wall paintings showing cattle being branded in ancient Egypt. Livestock branding came to the New World with the Spaniards, and has been practiced here ever since.

Traditionally, branding has been done with a hot “branding iron,” which left a mark as a permanent scar on the animal. Often, an animal’s ears were also clipped in a particular pattern that identified the owner.

Brands will be on view through July 31. The exhibition is located in the Museum Annex, north of the main museum building.

The Mission Historical Museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The museum is located at 900 Doherty (between Tom Landry Blvd. and Business 83), in Mission. There is no admission fee, but we encourage you to consider a donation to help the museum continue its programs.