The above video is a performance at Rodizio Campo in Luján, Argentina. As I mentioned in the last post, estancias in Argentina pay homage to the gaucho lifestyle and culture in Argentina. Gauchos, which are something of a bygone character (19th century was their heyday; sorry, guys) was the name give to the horse-riding residents of the pampas, the grassy plains in South America.
The gaucho can be considered the Argentine equivalent of the American cowboy, (or vice versa) and they both have similar qualities and representations. Rugged, anti-establishment, romanticized national symbols and all-around bad-ass; that’s the gaucho.
Gaucho is a term that extends beyond Argentina, though it is closely and most notably tied to nationalist sentiment in Argentina, mostly thanks to the 2,316-line epic poem Martín Fierro by José Hernández.
If you’re interested in learning more about gaucho culture, I suggest going right to the source of symbolism and picking up a copy of Martín Fierro, which is one of the most culturally important and respected pieces of literature in Argentina. Best to read in Spanish (if you can) to capture the full lyricism of the poem, although I’m sure some English translations handle it well.
–Karina for TKGO