Credited with ubiquitous clothing styles, transcending cultural traditions and rustic gastronomic feasts, the gaucho comes with a brave and honorable history that lives on to this day.
The Argentine gaucho way of life has existed for over three centuries. Although the authentic country life of the gaucho has changed and evolved over time, much remains the same and the gaucho is still revered as a folk hero of the endless Argentine Pampas (grasslands). Mostly of Spaniard or Spaniard/native mixed decent, the gaucho believes that solitude is the truest way of preserving the gaucho life - one of adaptation to the changing climate and landscape.
The term 'gaucho' comes from the indigenous Quechua word, "huachu," meaning orphan or homeless. It primarily aims to describe the solitary, nomadic nature of gaucho life. One thing that most gauchos will have in common is, their costume and vices. Their attire consists of leather boots with spurs, baggy trousers (bombachas) that are tucked into their boots, a wide shirt, and an ornamental woolen belt usually with an intricate clasp - to which a hand carved work knife is attached. A short vest and jacket is also worn with a neckerchief or headscarf. This is accompanied by a wide brim hat or beret, a whip, a lasso and a woolen poncho in the winter. And, when not on a horse, you can always find him with a maté in his hand sitting next to an asado.
My abuelo (grandfather) was an authentic gaucho in Corrientes, Argentina. Learn more about him in the About page of the site. Please share your gaucho stories and comments below.