Charruas & Gauchos



 The charruas Indians were the first inhabitants of what is now Uruguay. They have probably been at these territories for 10.000 years before the Spanish and Portuguese arrived. Jose Luis Zorrilla de San Martin painted this superb Charrua face. His father, Juan, wrote in honour to charruas race Uruguay´s literature master piece: “Tabare”. These Indians were famous for its courage and their intrepid spirit. They were incredible good horsemen. Jesuits who Christianized guaranis and other tribes were unable to do it with Charruas. .In 1830 at Salsipuedes, 30 km from my land, the last battle with the government and charruas was held. Many Indians were killed there.The Charruas were in the middle of the greed of two empires: Portugal and Spain. Their survival had few probabilities. Nowadays Uruguyans like to call themselves charruas. Specially in Football.The first Spanish who stepped at the River Plate in 1516, were taken prisoners, killed and eaten by the Indians. Although some historians say this is not true. History is always told by those who win. So I don`t know, if it is a legend or it is true.




 Gauchos are the southamerican cowboys. The experts in cows, nature, horses. At their beginning: free with no fences, they would be like the Indians or gipsys, having no permanent place to live. They would kill what they would need to survive and continue their way.They would fight for Portuguese or Spanish. They were pursued by judges, still, they were the best at war, as experts with the horse. “ nobody takes care of him,Nobody offers him pardonHe is meat for the canons And servant of 1000 sirs He has no other defenseThan his wit and his knife.” (Unknown poet) Artigas, our main hero, was always surrounded by Indians and gauchos, in his fights for Independence.The Gaucho culture exists in all the inland of Uruguay, south of Brazil, Paraguay, and some provinces of Argentina who border Uruguay. Their most emblematic item is the “mate” kind of tea that they inherited from Indians.Nowadays all Uruguayans sip mate.My uncle great grandfather, Dr. Elias Regules battled in order that Gauchos were taken in account after the Independence. Nobody would think we had a real race., who was “our race” He then founded the first Native Society in Southamerica, that then developed in Argentina, Paraguay and Brasil for Gaucho traditions. His famous book”Versos Criollos”Is a Uruguayan`s Gaucho Master piece..Nowadays Gauchos, can be seen in the north of Uruguay. Development, fences and many aspects of modern life invites them to end their habits. But still in many Estancias Gauchas you can meet these symbols of our culture. The PATRIA GAUCHA is a beautiful party that is celebrated every march in Tacuarembo.