The Argentina gauchos was the nomadic horseman of the Pampas, of mixed ancestry origins, he led a free and independent life and has been looked at in fascination by all those who met him.

 

All travellers agree that he was the embodiment of freedom. “They abhor discipline and are distinguished by a naughty and independent dignity.” (Hinchliff)

 

 

 

He was, in the mid eighteenth century, a lazy and often belligerent vagrant, accustomed to slaughter cattle when hungry, to work when in need of a shirt, and who had neither home nor family.

 

“Whether it be cold or hot, the itinerant peon reposes soundly under the open canopy of heaven, having the earth as his bed, his poncho as his covering, and his saddle for his pillow.”

(Gillespie – Gleanings and Remaks, Leeds 1818)

 

gaucho argentina pampa estancia

 

 

When the colonies started trading in hides and tallow, the Argentina gauchos was needed at the vaquerías (the first organized farms), because he was skilful in all rural activities.

He was the adequate person, who, armed with his knife, his lasso and his boleadoras, hunted the large herds.

He had to assemble the cattle and drive them to market, break in the colts, kill the cattle for hide, tallow and charqui (jerked meat).

 

The hides had to be stretched and dried and charqui had to be cut in long pieces, dipped in salt and water and dried in the air.

 

The Argentina gauchos, this strong, loyal, proud creature, was now learning to build his hut and settle down. Early in the nineteenth century the Gauchos were forced to join the army to fight the wars of independence.

 

gaucho pampa argentina estancia

 

“Whether it be cold or hot, the itinerant peon reposes soundly under the open canopy of heaven, having the earth as his bed, his poncho as his covering, and his saddle for his pillow.”

(Gillespie – Gleanings and Remaks, Leeds 1818)

 

“The character of the Gaucho is often very estimable; he is always hospitable, at his hut the traveller is sure to find a friendly welcome, and he will often be received with a natural dignity of manner which is very remarkable.”

(Francis Bond Head – Rough Notes, London 1828)

 

“Most of them do a hard day´s work very steadily without food till the evening announces the time of their rest; they loll or sit lazily about the fire where their beef is cooking, while the inevitable cigarette ornaments their sunburnt faces; and if I may judge by my own experience, I should say they pass their evening remarkably quietly in their own quartier of the Estancia; where they peaceably gorge themselves with beef and mate.” (Hinchliff)

 

Today the Pampa has been fenced, the fear of the malón (attacks by the Indians) has disappeared and the Gaucho has become the peon, the rural labourer.

 

 

(Mónica Gloria Hoss de le Comte)

For booking the most Real gauchos Tour Buenos Aires Areco Estancia: Estancia Tour in Buenos Aires

For more information about gauchos culture and heritage: The gaucho experience

Full day tour Buenos Aires Estancia El Ombu de Areco with transfer