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by Nathan Jones


The gaucho are steeped in Argentinian folklore—a historical figure painted as brave, unruly, and crafty. While the imagery has been invoked for touristic gain in more visited areas, deep in the north of Argentina, gaucho culture exists much as it has for hundreds of years. Wide brimmed hats, colorful belts, and cloth shoes are the wardrobe of choice for these skilled horsemen.

The jineteada is to the gaucho as the rodeo is to the cowboy: a test of horsemanship, a display of masculinity, a celebration of culture. When the dust and cries of caballo settles, Argentinian folk music reverberates off the mountain side and the gauchos join the spectators to dance until the sun goes down.

In many ways, rural Argentinian gaucho culture mirrors that of rural Canadian cowboy culture, a fierce pride in their heritage combined with an undying dedication to carrying on their lifestyle—a lifestyle which often seems like a vestige in the modern world. For both, at the end of the day, ride or not, you dust yourself off and commit to getting on the next one.