Gaucho, the nomadic and colourful horseman and cowhand of the Argentine and Uruguayan Pampas. Most of the gauchos are gifted and experienced riders who show a deeply ingrained culture and defend it through their associations, events, and various activities.
They were usually mestizos (persons of mixed European and Indian ancestry) but sometimes were white, black, or mulatto.
They were an especially strong political force in the early years of the Argentine republic. Gaucho support of the federalists was instrumental in overthrowing the government of Juan Martín de Pueyrredón and in bringing to power such caudillos as Juan Facundo Quiroga and Juan Manuel de Rosas.
The Guitar is the permanent partner of the gaucho. The most inspiring are the poets, singers and payada singers that delight everyone with songs that make people laugh and cry. They also used to dance cielito, gato, mediacana.
The gauchos lived in small mud huts roofed with grass mats and slept on piles of hides.
Gaucho weapons were the lasso, knife, and boleadoras, a device made of leather cords and three iron balls or stones that was thrown at the legs of an animal to entwine and immobilize it. Gauchos subsisted largely on meat.