Large cattle used to carry and draw burdens, and for milk and meat. We know that they were domesticated in Middle-earth, at least in Gondor, because Pippin saw them being used to pull wagons to Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring. The most famous oxen of all, though, were not domesticated, but roamed wild in the eastern land of Rhûn. These were the great Kine of Araw, that were hunted by the Gondorian nobles, and most famously by Vorondil the Hunter, father of Mardil. Vorondil had a horn from one of these oxen bound with silver, and this hunting-horn became an heirloom of the Stewards of Gondor. This was the very horn that Boromir bore long years afterwards: it was broken as he fought with the Orcs beneath Amon Hen, a thousand years after Vorondil's time.
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