It was the vagabond inhabitant of the pampas, their origin goes back at the beginning of 1600, when the plains of both riverbanks of the River of him Silver was populated by immense flocks of wild livestock (bovine) arrived to these lands with the first early, gift Pedro of Mendoza, in 1538. The enormous wealth of these livestocks generated an enormous greed, mainly for its leathers that were sold Portuguese or European merchants. Fat of the animal was also obtained, and the rest was left the vultures. The hunters were compatriots (Creoles, mestizos and mulattos) that lived freely in the pampas, without fixed employment and whose sustenance came of the slaughter of bovine raised. You came out in hunt trips, called dairies, and it was demolished the animals by means of the technique of cutting them the tendons of the back paws with a half sharpened steel moon, tied to the end of a long cane that could be managed from a horse.
Already in 1617, Hernandarias, being governor of Santa Faith, it points out the necessity to put order in the dairies ", because in that activity they participated many lost" "waiters that worked outside of all authority. The Town council of Buenos Aires attempted in vain, from beginnings of the XVII century, to put control to those slaughters descontroladas that left spread thousands of animals in one day, draining that great wealth quickly and in ferocious competition with the Indians that were also devoted to the business of the leathers.
The growing one to insatiable demand for leathers from Europe toward impossible any protection measure; for 1715 it can be said that in the pampas of the Argentinean coast the wild livestocks had disappeared practically. The lost" "waiters became cattle thieves slowly, because they were forced to steal in the big stays to subsist, in constant escapes of the authority and of the law.
But it was the Oriental, even uninhabited Band, where a similar phenomenon took place to that of the pampas litoralenses, replete of wild livestock, prodigiously multiplied from times of the Conquest. Neither they are effective here the measures adopted from Buenos Aires and soon many vagabond" "peons (in saying of the time) coming from Buenos Aires and Santa Faith they moved to this area. The effects of the slaughters were catastrophic, being the Portuguese merchants who benefitted with this business. It is in this time and place when these peons receive their primerá denomination, changadores, already mentioned in 1729.
To half of the XVIII century the persecutions of the wild livestock, exterminated in the south, continued to the north of the Oriental Band, where it was easier to market the leathers with the Portuguese. A new epithet, gauderio (term of Spanish origin), it replaced then that of changadores. It was also then when you them comienzó to recognize characteristic special, being described them as men that lived freely, traveling in their horse, with boleadoras, knot and knife like only baggage, occasionally accompanied for a woman.
In 1790 the word gaucho whose use will be imposed on the previous denominations appeared for the first time. The term originated in oriental territory, almost in the frontier with Brazil, to the season main scenario of its activities. Initially it was a pejorative term; their use extended soon to territory of the coast entrerriano, santafesino and from Buenos Aires. So oprobioso was this nickname that when San Martin, in a report from the Army of the North in 1814 refers to "the heroic resistance of the gauchos of it Jumps", the Supreme Director, Posed Gervasio, ordered that in the publication of the part in The Gazeta you replaces that term for the one of «rural patriots «. it Begins the character's slow transmutation then: first, when reaching a new status when fighting in the montoneras next to the federal commanders; later on, with the coming of the stay and the saladeros, the compatriots of to horse occupied in the tools of the country property they begin to receive this denomination.
In the twilights of the time of Roses, the gaucho is still a marginal being, but to his surroundings he leaves generating an aureole of respect. The poetry gauchesca, gender literary original of the river of the Plate, is born where the author uses the gaucho's language, his statements, his ideas. It begins little by little to exemplify the man's pampeano qualities. After the poem Martin Iron, of José Hernández, the gaucho acquires hero's dimension.
But the modernity and the one wired the they evict definitively of the pampas. Already missing, it reaches myth category expressed in Don Second Shade, of Ricardo Güiraldes, becoming a point of archetypal referenda from then on to define the Argentinean" being's essential "values.
Gaucho's gear is, starting from then, common distinguishing characteristic from field peons to farmers, used to be identified with its work and with its earth, beginning with Juan Manuel of Roses who was, as to say of the time, "gaucho among the gauchos", and who partly seated its power with the help of the enormous predicament that had on them.