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Gaúcho: The Man and The Myth

Son of the colonial contests between Iberian Imperialist Crowns, scattered in the continent to catch the cattle dispersed and turned savage after the destruction of the Jesuit Missions, on a land which the horizon goes as far as the eyes may reach, with slowly and large hills, prairies, and rivers where the silver rushed incessantly since Potosi to the Atlantic, and from
the Ocean to the Metropolis. Meanwhile the boarder territories were scrapped for an extremely long period, as long as it was possible to last, with dark red blood. Dawning in this contextual mood the gaucho was born, a new species which would surprise even Charles Darwin,
an ethnic very well cooked by European and Amerindian.

In the 19th century (from 1800 onwards), the gaucho as an original species began to
disappear, that is, his original way of life which was marked by freedom and savagery became a legend.

With the establishment of the Salt Meat Culture (saladeros, in Spanish, and charqueadas, in Portuguese)
along the Pelotas River, near the exit to the Atlantic Ocean, task that depended on the heavy work of African Slaves which, by its turn, was very intensive, now it is important to mention that the product of such an entreprise was exported to the capital of the Imperial Crown, and also to other places like São Paulo and Minas Gerais, to feed the army and the slavers. The owners of these installations became extensively rich. This proto-industry was doing well until the Brazilian Crown decided to buy the product from Uruguay because it was cheaper than the one made in the Brazilian Province.

Bento Gonçalves da Silva, a military who served the Crown years before, in the fixation of the Southern boarder of the Brazilian territory against Uruguay, paid with the using of the booty, began a Revolutionary Movement with other farmers, using the Masonry which brought here the Carbonnary Giuseppe Garibaldi and his mates. They created here a Separatist Republic, and for ten years the Province of São Pedro enjoyed no peace. The gaucho was transformed in a soldier, with no expectations but the command of the leaders.
With no more moral resources, the revolutionaries capitulated in 1845.
After this, an international intrigue created a new war, and Paraguay was devastated.

In the 1900s, after the military plot which created the Republic, several revolutions happened in Brazil, and a military, descendent of great farmers from Rio Grande do Sul State took the power in the Capital of the Country. Getulio Dornelles Vargas, one gaucho, the most beloved President in all our History, the creator of numerous laws to protect the workers' rights was also a nationalist as many political leaders of that particular period.

Summing up:
The gaucho is a historical person, worthy of the better respect, and his historical roots is cultivated by the nativists, with an ideological consistence.
The mythological traditional gaucho is a fantasy, a live culture, a way of identification in a rich Country, a Country with many diverse cultures, and some of them even in their purest circunstances.
Either Nativists or Tradicionalists, gauchos will always drink chimarrão, the most original habit since it was a legacy from the Native- Indians!
Continue Reading: The Myths