Argentinian Gauchos

Gaucho Crafts- Silver and Leather: There's a strong tradition of working precious metals, such as silver, into fine belts and buckles, historically the gaucho's way of carrying his wealth with him was originally in the ornate silver rastras and buckles which are still used today over leather belts or to tie fajas (woven cloth belts). Silver spurs, stirrups and the fine silver decoration on saddles are all extraordinary examples of traditions dating from the early 18th century. The gaucho facón (an all purpose knife used especially for cutting his asado) is made with an elaborately wrought silver handle. Another example is the traditional mate vessel, often just a hollowed out gourd, can be made by Gauchos with an exquisitely worked piece of silver. Leather was always important for making all the items associated with horses, and obviously widely available, the complexity of the traditional bridles, belts and straps is impressive. Long thin strips of leather are woven into wide plaits, or trensas and used still for all parts of horse bridlery, as well as more decorative pieces.
The Gauchos are Argentina's cowboys, who for centuries roamed the country’s vast plains, the pampas, herding cattle and working the ranches since as early as the 1600's. I was pleased to get a sneak peak into the living traditions of gaucho life.