Male and female figures from Artentina. The male doll is wearing traditional clothing for a gaucho. He is also carrying a boleodoro (wooden balls on leather used to capture horses and livestock) and a facon knife. The woman has the traditional braids in her hair and is wearing a long dress and apron.
Location: South America
Capital: Buenos Aires
Main language: Spanish
Currency: Argentina Peso
Construction: cloth, yarn, leather
Height in Centimeters: 25
Height in Inches: 10
Reading Level: 5.80
My name is Martina and I am 11 years old. I live in on a farm in Argentina with my parents. In class this week, my teacher talked about the gauchos of Argentina. She explained they were similar to American cowboys.
When I got home, I asked my dad about the gauchos. To my surprise, he said my great, great, great grandfather had been a gaucho. I immediately said, “Papa, will you tell me more about your abuelo?”
He began by telling me that the gauchos were a very independent group. They had no actual home. They preferred to live, sleep, and work outside. They owned no land. They were free to go anywhere, and they loved that freedom.
The gauchos rode strong horses and were excellent riders. They earned money by tracking down stray horses or cattle. They rarely carried a gun. However, they carried a very large knife called a facon.
Another important tool was their boleodoro. It consisted of three wooden balls tied together with braided leather cords. When chasing animals, gauchos threw the boleodoro to capture, not kill, the animal. The gauchos also carried a leather whip.
Most of the men wore white shirts and baggy black pants with a sash belt. They also wore a wide black hat and had a kerchief tied around their neck. Their ponchos doubled as a coat and a blanket.
If a gaucho had a female companion, she was called a China. Being a China wasn’t easy. They had to ride horses and move from place to place. The women also took care of the children and cooked the meals. Chinas usually wore their hair in braids.
It was getting dark, and my father told me it was time to go to bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I thought about the cowboys and cowgals of Argentina.