April 25, 2016

2492 URUGUAY - Gaucho Homeland Festival

In its historical sense a gaucho was "A mestizo who, in the 18th and 19th centuries, inhabited Argentina, Uruguay and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil". Today, in Argentina and Uruguay, a gaucho is "A country person, experienced in traditional cattle ranching work". Because gauchos were reputed to be brave, if unruly, the word is also applied metaphorically to mean "Noble, brave and generous", but also "One who is skilful in subtle tricks, crafty". Is an equivalent of the North American "cowboy".

The gaucho is a national symbol in both Argentina and Uruguay. Gauchos became greatly admired and renowned in legends, folklore and in literature and became an important part of their regional cultural tradition. Typically, a gaucho's horse constituted most of what he owned in the world. During the wars of the 19th century in the Southern Cone, the cavalries on all sides were composed almost entirely of gauchos.

Gauchos dressed quite distinctly from North American cowboys, and used bolas or boleadoras (three leather bound rocks tied together with approximately three feet long leather straps) in addition to the familiar "North American" lariat or riata. The typical gaucho outfit would include a poncho (which doubled as a saddle blanket and as sleeping gear), a facón (large knife), a rebenque (leather whip), and loose-fitting trousers called bombachas, belted with a tirador, or a chiripá, a loincloth.

The most important event which reveals the gaucho culture in Uruguay is Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha (Gaucho Homeland Festival), that takes place annually since 1987, during the second week of March, in the city of Tacuarembó. Among the many activities that take place in the week of the festival, can be highlighted Jineteada (rodeos), performances of dance, song and poetry, competition between nativist societies and a Creole parade. In the evenings can't miss asado con cuero (a cow barbecued with the skin still attached).

About the stamps

The stamp was issued on May 5, 2014 to mark the Centenary of the University Sports League.

Gaucho - Wikipedia
The Uruguayan Gaucho - Bradt Travel Guides

Sender: Ruben Silva
Sent from Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay), on 24.03.2015
Design: Gabriel Casas

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