Argentine National/Ethnic Costumes

Figure 1.-- Here we see an Argentine boy, probably in the 1950s, dressed up in a gaucho costume.

The primary symbol of Argentina is the gaucho. The flamboyant gaucho costume is along with their distinctive character is an important part of gaucho culture. The modern gaucho costumes include a few modern touches, but are basiclly a reflection of actual gaucho clothing. A basic costume is based on the woven wool poncho--actually of Andean rather than pampas prigins. The pancho also could doubled as a saddle blanket and sleeping bag. Theother major item was loose fitting, baggy trousers called "bombachas". I'm not sure what the oirigins of these pants were, but probably reflected populr Spanish styles atvan early point of gaucho history. Others items included tirador (sash) for the trousers, a chiripa (a piece of cloth tied to resemble a diaper). There were also items less common in modern costumes, especially the costumes for children. Gauchos did not have six-shooters, but commonly carried a facon--a long bladed knife worn on the waist, but at the back. Gauchos also had a rebenque (whip) and a lasso rope made of plaited hide. The lasso rope was not as important as it was for American cowboys. Rather very important for the gaucho was the boleodoras--three leather bound rocks tied together with leather straps. They could be used to catch wild animals.


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Created: 10:44 PM 3/16/2008
Last updated: 10:45 PM 3/16/2008