The figure of the gaucho in Argentina is very important, it is an icon that represents the historical customs of the country, making it our culture.
The gaucho was a very particular being and with several characteristics that made him unique, in today’s post we are going to tell you about one of these characteristics: his clothing.
All gaucho clothing is usually called pilcha, the typical gaucho clothing has the imprint of the Andalusian horsemen to which he adds a poncho (large cape with a cut in the center to pass the head), a wench or knuckle and pants very spacious.
The poncho, the chiripá and the same habit of drinking mate, were taken from the “Indio”; The gaucho also took one of his most unique weapons: the boleadoras. In turn, the gaucho wore a hat. The guitar and the hat were inherited from the Spanish conquerors. The gaucho used to ride with the so-called “colt boots”, which had no heels and were open at the tips, so that the toes were exposed. Another typical element of the gaucho’s clothing are its wide belts of grained white leather, worked with alum. Depending on their economic or working condition, this ornament used to have luxurious features, even inlaid with silver or gold coins or figures.
Towards the year 1860, a great change took place in the gaucho’s fashion: as lags of the Crimean War, a large number of baggy pants arrived in Argentina, which had been woven in large quantities in the factories of Europe for the Zuavo regiments that participated in this war. This pants, that were sold at a very low price became common clothing for the gauchos since, despite their thin fabric, they created good thermal insulation and fold easily when walking on rough or overgrown terrain. In turn, the strong Basque immigration that occurred in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century spread the use of the beret and the espadrilles among the gauchos, other very characteristic elements of this cultural character.
Finally, all his clothing was accompanied by weapons designed for his defense and protection. Although the gauchos used to and often use firearms, their preferred weapons have been white weapons. The, ‘facón’ stands out, a large knife that is not only a weapon but almost a tool that helps in various needs.
The gauchos’ clothing must be resistant to survive the hard work of the countryside and the rural environments where they move, and they have also become a tradition in Argentina. As you can see, the gaucho has a very particular style. The clothing was and is of great importance to him, it gives him that own and characteristic style that makes him recognizable against any Argentine.