Why are Gauchos important to Argentina

The gaucho is a national symbol in Argentina, they became greatly admired and renowned in legends, folklore and literature and became an important part of their regional cultural tradition. Beginning late in the 19th century, after the heyday of the gauchos, they were celebrated by South American writers.

The gaucho is an iconic figure that represents the values of bravery, honor and freedom of the rural an. It will later be considered a romantic character due to the success of the Martin Fierro written by Jose Hernandez. The gaucho evokes a glorious Argentina that used to feed the whole planet and it’s still somehow a myth in Argentine collective imaginary.

In its historical sense a gaucho was “a mestizo who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, inhabited Argentina, Uruguay, and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, was a migratory horseman, and adept in cattle work”. Because historical gauchos were reputed to be brave, if unruly, the word is also applied metaphorically to mean “Noble, brave and generous”, but also “One who is skilful in subtle tricks, crafty”. However, in its purest sense, gaucho is referred to the nomadic, often outlaw inhabitants of the great plains of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

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