Although its origins are not clear, the chacarera began to dance around the 1850s in rural Argentina in the northwest and center of the country, before it finally arrived and made its entrance into the cities.
According to most versions of the folkloric dances, it begins in the province of Santiago del Estero, since the testimonies prove that in that province of northern Argentina there were chacareras in the language of the native natives there: “Quechua”. It was Andrés Chazarreta in the early 1900 who wrote the first musical version.
Within the folk dances of Argentina, this is within what is called “picaresque dances”, with a very happy and agile rhythm, with lyrics that portrayed the situations of the population of the countryside, despite which it was later incorporated to dance halls in the cities of the interior of the country, reaching almost the entire country with few exceptions.
There are almost no documents that testify how its evolution was, but the original one seems to be dancing in the province of Tucumán.
Like many of the 70 folk dances of Argentina, this one also has four paragraphs in which the refrains are sung and in the intermediate one that is only instrumental. The measures can be six or eight depending on the version.
The music corresponding to this dance is performed by accordion, bass drum, violin and the ever present in Argentine folklore the Creole guitar.
By the early 1900s, this dance arrived in Buenos Aires, but was unable to compete with the popular tango. In the 1960s it gained popularity again as musicians revitalized the dance’s traditional music.
Chacarera is a couple’s dance, but the two dancers dance independently of each other, not touching.
If more than one couple dances it at the same time, the couples do not interact with each other.
In the Estancia Buenos Aires women usually wear alpargatas shoes and long flowing dresses.
They often wear their hair in one or two braids.
Men usually wear boots or alpargatas, baggy pants, shirts of any color, hats or “boinas”, and silk scarves tied at the neck.
Thet real gauchos Estancia Tour Buenos Aires with town and ranch
The authentic gauchos experience departing from Buenos Aires includes visit to the gaucho town Areco and the working Estancia in the pampas of Argentina
Run by Argentine people (not French) who live in San Antonio de Areco for many years, with unique knowledge and experience in Estancias, gauchos´ culture, and gauchos tradition.
This tour is aiming to put you in contact with local people and Estancia gauchos in an original immersion
It is a complete Day Tour to the San Antonio de Areco Town and Estancia El Ombu , combining the best of the pampas: The gaucho tour
Exclusive tour near Buenos Aires visiting the gaucho ambience, in an unique Argentina destination, making it a sustainable experience.
We pick you up at your residence in Buenos Aires in licensed minivans in the morning. The local tour guide will show you all the edges of this gaucho Town (name “cradle of the argentine traditions”) for near 90 minutes. Then you will spend the rest of the day at the working Estancia El Ombu: empanadas, a horseback riding guided by the gauchos or a carriage ride, a complete lunch of argentine beef on the grill with argentina folcloric live music .
This gave rise to a body of fearless riders, called gauchos, who made a business of hunting wild cattle for their hides and tallow, or of driving them to estancias to be marked and gentled.
Thus it was that, unlike the North American cowboy, who followed civilization, the gaucho preceded it and helped to make it possible by garnering the natural resources and protecting the frontiers against the Indians.
Huge expeditions were organized for this tour of huntings, with as many as a thousand head of saddle horses and great convoys of lumbering two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen.
Once in sight of a herd in the pampa, the gauchos galloped on horseback after them and hamstrung as many as possible with their big knives, called facones, or with medialunas, long bamboo spears shod with crescents of sharpened steel.
It was no trick for eighteen or twenty horsemen gauchos to maim seven or eight hundred animals in an hour.
The Argentina criollo gaucho horse breed was originated from the old Andalusian horse brought by the Spanish conquerors. A breed of great strength and hardiness, they quickly adapted to the harsh conditions of the new geography and to the needs of the native and gauchos, specially those from the current province of Buenos Aires.
The ancient Andalusian horse didn’t have Arabic origins. The studs that existed in the days of the conquest, in Cordoba, Sevilla and Jerez de la Frontera, had its origins in the Barb (or Berber) horses from northern Africa, brought centuries earlier by Moorish invaders.
These horses, mixed with the native ones originated the famed Spanish horse, then known as ‘horse rider’ referring to the warriors of the Moorish tribe, who were eminent breeders and warriors.
They expanded in the Castilian kingdoms and implemented, sports and practices known as the ‘school of the rider’, which gave way to the traditions, styles, methods for breaking and riding that still pervade among gauchos in Estancias.
The Argentina Criollo gaucho horse Breed is born
The horses of the conquerors gave rise to different types of South American horses. “From those stallions and mares, exposed to different weathers, fed with different pastures, employed on different tasks, the descendent horses got adapted to the geographies, treacherous diseases and risks of the environment. In turn, somatic morphologies and physiological gifts managed by the crosses and selections imposed by men appeared, either within the wild herds or the cavalries.
During Colonial times, the Criollo horse became part of the history of those lands, it contributed to the construction of the new countries. The Criollo horse generated a culture around himself, a new venue for human expression. It helped indigenous groups to become riders too -Araucanos, Pampas and Tehuelches- to prolong their freedom with help of these animals, which joined their collective life, becoming their weapon, vehicle, food and passion.
Some of the animals used for warfare, brought in 1535 by Don Pedro de Mendoza, were set free after Buenos Aires was destroyed. Thanks to the conditions of the pampas, that little lot of horses adapted and reproduced portentously. The descendants formed herds of hundreds of thousands of wild horses –known as baguales- which were regarded in amazement by the Spanish conquistador Garay when he arrived to those territories in 1580.
The colonial life and stormy history of the nascent Argentina revolved around cattle and horses. Sales of leather, beef and tallow sustained the country. The cattle ranches were handled using horses until the introduction of barbed wire. The gauchos emerged as the most complete expression of man on horseback.
Decline and new rise of the Argentina Criollo gaucho horse
Argentina was a country populated by native horses descendent from the Andalusian breed. However, from the mid-Nineteenth Century, British and Percherons horses were introduced to the country. The indiscriminate crossbreeding spread in search of higher horses. However they were not very functional for war, livestock or travelling. By the early Twentieth Century in some areas of the province of Buenos Aires it stopped being usual to find pure Criollos.
Some ranchers, including the Argentine zootechnist Don Emilio Solanet, noticed such a serious situation and undertook the task of restoring the purity of the breed. Solanet found pure Criollos in the distant lands of Chubut. He bought a number of mares and stallions from an indigenous leader and led them on a historical journey of 1800 miles to his farm ‘El Cardal’ in the province of Buenos Aires. From that batch of horses, carefully preserved by isolation and the zeal of the indigenous tribes, the pure Criollos resurfaced. From such an effort the breed registry was born and its traits asserted.
Among the Criollo horses acquired by Solanet in Chubut, there were two mature ones ‘Gato’ and ‘Mancha’. They did, between 1925 and 1928 the historic raid Buenos Aires -New York that covered 22,500 kilometers by mountains, desert and jungle. This is one of the most demanding functional testing distance that positioned the Criollo breed as the best on longest routes. Both horses returned to ‘El Cardal’ by boat, and died at thirty years of age.
Breed standard of the Argentina Criollo gaucho horse
The breed standard adopted by associations of Criollo breeders in Argentina is: mesomorph, average height between 1.40 and 1.50 m hands. Chest 1.70 to 1.86, near land. Broad-based head and fine vertex. Medium lenght, robust neck, muscular and slightly prominent cross. Wide and square rump, good bones, remarkably broad chest, big muscular structure. Usually trot and gallop, although some pace, durable and adaptable to very stringent conditions.
Predominant colors are chestnuts, dun, auburn, roan and tobiano layers. Features are the dark stripe along the spine, also known as ‘mule stripe’, and the cebraduras or zebra stripes on the legs.
Estancia El Ombu de Areco: Just 120km away from the city of Buenos Aires in San Antonio de Areco district, the General Pablo Riccheri bought this property in 1870, and then transformed it into a working ranch and then the years later finished the construction of the main house, with its italian style villa architecture, for his family.
President Julio Roca appointed Riccheri Army Chief of Staff, and on July 13, 1900, citing his “intelligent furor and single-minded dedication to our military procurement needs,” President Roca named him the nation’s War Minister. His tenure was marked by ongoing efforts to modernize the Argentina Armed Forces.
In 1910 was promoted to the rank of Major General. Riccheri believed the military should remain a disinterested party in Argentina politics. He nevertheless lent his support in 1909 to UCR leader Hipólito Yrigoyen’s call for universal male suffrage and the secret ballot.
Many years later the Estancia El Ombú was sold to Robert Dowdall: an expert (English origins) criollo horses breeder (you can buy his book “Criando Criollos” here
In 1934 Eva and Cristina´s grandfather, Enrique Boelcke, bought this Estancia property of 300 hectares. It is still, as it was then, used for arable farming and raising cattle, which allows the visitor to also experience these activities.
Nowadays part of the Estancia is populated with near 350 Aberdeen Angus cows, approximately 80 criollo horses, few sheeps a some other farm animals managed by the gauchos.
In 1993 the Estancia El ombu de Areco was adapted to receive tourists looking for an authentic gaucho experience in the Buenos Aires pampa.
The San Antonio de Areco River runs within two kilometres of the house and can be reached by walking through a wild landscape of tall grass and mixed woodland.
Overhead you will see caranchos, chimangos, barn owls, herons and many other native birds of the pampa in the province of Buenos Aires.
The porch surrounding the Estancia house is absolutely beautiful with an abundance of climbing plants, columns, big heavy wooden doors and a light airy atmosphere. Flowers and more flowers surround the two swimming pools.
Some of the bedrooms overlook the refreshing water. The bathrooms are in perfect condition and full of dainty details.
Eva is an agricultural engineer, but for the last more than 20 years she is devoted also to this hospitality activity of the estancia receiving visitors in a full day tour.
You can book a Full day tour to San Antonio de Areco town with a visit to gaucho Estancia El Ombu de Areco by clicking here
This Buenos Aires gaucho tour program includes: – Transfer from Buenos Aires picking you up in your apartment or hotel – Tickets for the Workshop/gaucho Museum in San Antonio de Areco town – Bilingual local Tour guide (Argentine) – All the food and drinks mentioned are included – Horseback ride or if you prefer a carriage ride with the company of the gauchos: How is the horseback riding in the Estancia
The trees at Estancia Los Patricios in San Antonio de Areco incluye a wide variety of acacias. The huge garden in front of the house with the pool to one side has a one-hundred years old maple casting a deep shadow big enough to shelter 500 people at 50 tables for an open air “asado”.
It is owned by Maria Luisa de Bary de Brane and Hector Juan Brané Istueta Landajo, descendants of Basque and French arrived in Argentina in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to the family house where there are two big towers (one west and another east), a kind of stud with carriages and classic cars.
The estancia in San Antonio de Areco is known for its beautiful house, main style home “pampeano colonial” and all its infrastructure, storehouses and stables. Its large park has century-old trees of great magnitude and variety of species.
Héctor Juan Brané and Maria de Bary de Brané have been living in this pampa colonial style house for the past 36 years and have been taking in guests in a Estancia Tour for over 28 years.
Their children, following the family tradition, play polo. They had run a polo school and can even offer a wooden practice horse for beginners.
Los Patricios is a 200 hectare estancia dedicated exclusively to farming.
In Estancia Los Patricios de Areco you will find an exclusive place where the old family house stand out from the rest.
The park has large centenaries trees and variety of species along the natural lake, providing an ideal spot in contact with typical nature of the pampa from province of Buenos Aires , Argentina
Full Day Tour at the Estancia Areco: In Los Patricios you can have an exclusive place with the necessary infrastructure and organization to serve large groups in a daytrip. The gastronomy includes cocktail reception and typical argentina asado.
There is a variety of activities like horseback riding, carriage ride, bikes and the swimming pool.
The place was visited by Literature Nobel Mario Vargas Llosa in 2011: he was received with a typical argentina asado, folkloric music, gaucho dances and demonstrations of gauchos skills on horseback.