Gauchos - from Latin America (early to late 19th century)

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This is a Gaucho from Argentina. He and his companions are very proud of their horses and their traditional clothing.
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Gauchos are found all around South America but were more native to Argentina.

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 3rd ed. New York City, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.


Cowboys from the United States
Vaqueros from Mexico
Mestizos and Castizos
NOT Caudillos or the Spanish


We don't have too much in regards to technology. Our main form of technology is our farming equipment, which we use because we grow our own crops to eat (we don't believe in going to the local markets of society and buying food because we are independent and free). Our other forms of technology are our cutting knives and other small tools that are easy to carry while riding our horses. We don't need much because we do what we like and always find a way to solve our problems if any arise.


Being a gaucho is pretty interesting because we don't have to follow the rules of society. We are independent and self-sufficient. This allows us to do whatever we deem is beneficial for us. We have our own customs and traditions, such as the whole family working on the ranch, herding the cattle. We believe in ethnic egalitarianism: all gauchos are equal and there are no differences that result in any type of discrimination. This is what makes most people think that we are inferior to people who live in urban societies because in urban societies, there is a social hierarchy that separates rich from the poor. But we don't do that because we respect all kinds of people.

Gauchos are a very proud group of people. We don't give up without a fight. And for this reason, many of us proudly fought for our freedom from the Caudillos. We are often lauded for our courage and bravery because people write poems and songs about us. We write poems and songs in our free time because it is a good way to express oneself, which is what we are all about (with the independent and free lifestyle that we live). We don't mean to brag but we are, what they call "nasty", at horse riding. We usually learn how to ride horses at an early age because we need to help around the ranch with herding the cattle. Although Gauchos have their own distinctive dress and clothing (featuring the ever-attractive sashed trousers, ponchos, and boots), they are often confused with cowboys because they live similar lifestyles. This is not surprising because gauchos are linked to cowboys and vaqueros that are found in the Americas.


There is no known religion that the gauchos followed. Since they set themselves apart from society, it is thought that they do not follow the beliefs of organized religions such as Christianity. And being free-spirited allowed gauchos to do whatever they thought was necessary to survive without being worried about kharma or about going to Heaven or Hell.


This is a picture of me and my horse, Felipe
This is a picture of me and my horse, Felipe

July 5th, 1868 - Today I got to choose my very own horse! I named him Felipe, after my great-grandpapi. He built our ranch by hand (because we think of ourselves as independent people and we usually do things on our own). So I owe him at least this much as a token of my appreciation for giving us a great "home on the range". Or I could write him a song because in my family, like all other gauchos, writing poems and songs are the greatest pasttimes ever thought of. On my daily gallop, I found a copy of the poem The Gaucho Martin Fierro, written by the poet, Jose Hernandez. I almost started crying because I was so emotionally touched by how he expressed our pride and freedom in words ever so delicately. I think Felipe was crying too, by the sound of his whineys. But as soon as I finished reading, I heard some Caudillos galloping in the distance. I got scared and went back home to warn the others to be prepared. I think we'll see some fighting break out soon because those idiots are trying to create an army to fight against the Spanish. I mean sure, I would love to have no foreigners coming to our pampa and start declaring themselves as the new supreme government. But if we gauchos did join the Caudillos and win against the Spanish, the Caudillos will try to overpower us, which is also not favorable for us. Gauchos just want to live freely, and if that means to fight 'til the death, we will fight to the death!

July 10th, 1868 - Today those damned caudillos came after us. They keep telling us that we need to join their army or else. We have seen how they treat people who oppose their rule. But I personally am not afraid to go straight up to that loser, Juan Manuel de Rosa, and yell at him straight to his face for not leaving us gauchos alone. We've been hassled and tormented enough. All that unnecessary bloodshed just because we declined their request? I don't think that is moralIy correct at all. I mean people should learn how to respect opinions of others and other people all together. I think they just don't express their true feelings and emotions freely enough. They hold it all in and when something provokes them, they let it all out in a senseless rampage. Writing songs and reciting poetry is a wonderful way of distressing oneself. Or they can try to do something for the nation, I don't know, maybe like, start trading with some people to increase the the economy of this region. And having more trade could lead to financing a military more efficiently? We independent and care-free gauchos have lots of time to ponder and think about life. And I'm not about to let this freedom taken away from me or the rest of my gauchos bretheren so we will speak our mind the next time those cowardly caudillos come back for us!

One of those damned Caudillos who don't let us live in peace!

August 5th, 1868 - I don't believe it! Those wretched Caudillos came back again and this time started to enclose my whole family into our ranch on our pampa...using barbed wire to surround the perimeter! I couldn't believe my eyes. And when the elder men wen to go talk with the Caudillos, to try to settle this incident peacefully, fights broke out. I was so scared so I ran to the stable to be with my Felipe. BUT HE WAS GONE TOO! I was so emotionally distraught that I couldn't even go out and help fight against the Caudillos. I was enraged at the thought of those Caudillos killing off my family because we didn't agree to their outrageous demands. I think I will have to go round up some of my gaucho gang and start a rebellion to remind those Caudillos of what gauchos are made of. We don't take anything from anyone! We gauchos don't want to do anything with any one because we live off of ourselves. The Caudillos assume that we need them to help us. But we can take care of ourselves. I mean, we've been doing it since the Spanish were here in the past, and we can still do it in the future even if the Spanish are still here. But the Caudillos are just selfish and greedy for their own power, and are trying to cover it up by making excuses to start an unnecessary war. I think I'm going to go write an angry poem to let out all this rage and fury. Then I'll go find my beloved Felipe.

The Wall

Howdy y'all? Yeah, that's right, I am a cowboy from the good ol' United States of America talking to my relatives down south. I just would like to thank you guys for standing up for what you believe in, all that independence and free lifestyle business. It just gives me a sense of assurance that we got good and capable people building the reputation of us Cowboys/Vaqueros/Gauchos all over the Western Hemisphere. Keep it up guys! YEE-HAW!!! - a cowboy from the United States

HEY GAUCHOS! Listen up and listen good. This is the last time we're going to ask you peacefully: You HAVE to join our army because we are telling you to. We have to fight the Spanish army in a couple days and we need people. And guess what? YOU'RE THE ONLY PEOPLE AROUND! So just give up the act of being all "independent this, and independent that" because we will use force if you guys don't cooperate...i mean it... - soldier recruiter for the Caudillos

Hola senores! I know that we are somehow related but let's not get into muchos details aqui...we both know that we have similar lifestyles and thus, having similar needs. I agree that since we are sooooo independent, we don't need many cosas...but lets remember, we still need to take care of our how about we start showing some brotherly love and start trading here and there? It would be great for you because you can show off your horse-riding skills to everyone you pass on your journey over here to Mexico. Or I can come down there to your pampa if you prefer. I just want to get to know my relatives a little better...and I know a place where I can hook you up with some tacos....hasta luego! - a Vaquero from Mexico

Hey gauchos...I've heard that you guys don't believe in an organized religion? Well I just wanted to tell you that Christianity is the best religion EVER and I think that you should give it a try, see how you might like it. And I'll throw in this free book. It's called the Bible and you will be able to read out of it everyday. And if you can't read, no problem! Once we teach you how to pray, you can be tight with Jesus that way. So I am supposedly coming over to your part of the world soon, so I hope to meet you guys! - A Christian missionary from the Spanish Empire

To whoever is in charge of this herd of gauchos,
I do believe that you all have an issue with me and my decisions. And I have come to know that "some people" are threatening to stand up against me. Well, there has been some documentation of what I apparently do to people who stand up against me. This is not any type of blackmail if you are wondering...just a warning/death threat. I don't understand why it is so hard for you people to just stand and fight alongside us because we are in fact trying to better ourselves in the long run. I want to restore balance and order to this region of Latin America, and to do this, I need your help now to fight against the Spanish. But I see you people don't have the capacity to think like that. I think this might cause some problems...
Juan Manuel de Rosa, leader of the Caudillos


Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 3rd ed. New York City, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Youtube video from-

Picture of "Felipe and I" -