The Argentina Gaucho origins

The Argentina Gaucho origins

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


Pampa : Argentina original environment

Pampa : Argentina original environment

The Quechua word pampa means space, a flat surface in the center of Argentina without trees in its original pampa argentina environment.


It is the name given to the large Argentine plain: one of the largest and most fertile plains in the world, a sea of land without end and according to the famous Argentine poet, Jorge Luis Borges, “the only place on earth where God can roam at large”.
“Well did the ancient Quechuas name the plains, with the word signifying space, for all was spacious – earth, sky, the waving continent of grass, the enormous herds of cattle and of horses, the strange effects of light, the fierce and blinding storms and, above all, the feeling in men´s minds of freedom, and of being face to face with nature, under those Southern skies.”

(Cunninghame Graham)



pampa original envinroment argentina



When the Spanish conquerors arrived, the pampa was nothing but a desert, a scrubland covered with bushes and some tala-woods, an arid, unattended land.


The delusion of the newly arrived was enormous, they did not find what they were looking for, there was no gold and there was no silver. But there was the pampa, the boundless pampa, waiting to show them the sort of gold that lay hidden in its soil.


At that time the Spanish were not interested in the country occupied by the pampa, they did not need it, so only a few expeditions crossed the desert to have a closer look at it.


The founder of the City of Buenos Aires, Juan de Garay, was the first Spaniard to travel along the coast of what today is the Province of Buenos Aires.

That was in 1581, only one year after founding Buenos Aires. In 1604, the Governor Hernando Arias de Saavedra crossed the plain from north to south looking for the mythic, rich and evasive Ciudad de los Césares, which was said to be a city made of gold.


The pampa was practically uninhabited and the few Indians, with limited mobility to cover these immense distances, lived in a low culture society.


The Spanish colonizers who arrived in what is now Argentina, had to put a lot of hard work into tending the land, more than anywhere else in America.

They bravely fought against shortages and poverty not known in other places, since the Indians were not eager to help them in their work.



pampa argentina gauchos areco estancia


The new inhabitants started crossing the desert in large caravans of carriages. They had to go very cautiously, the fear fo meeting bellicose Indians was genuine.


argentina pampa environment


(Mónica Gloria Hoss de le Comte)

For more information about Pampas in Argentina:


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