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The ranch: the housing of the gaucho

What was the housing of the gauchos? We told you the characteristics of the ranch, the house of the gauchos.
Cómo era la vivienda de los gauchos
| 27 September, 2019 |

Sosegao lived in my ranch
like the bird in his nest,
there my beloved
children grew up to my Lao…
only the unfortunate and
regret the lost.

José Hernández

If there was one thing that defined the gaucho , it was his freedom. And a free man is a man who is not tied to anything, not even to his land. He was only linked to this one by the fact that he was born in it: he called it payment. Payment was a territorial division within a province. A mere geographical distinction. That’s where the gaucho built his house: his ranch.

A man who lives most of the time on the back of his horse cannot devote much attention to the design or construction of his housing. This was usually not stable. Most of the time their stay in one place depended on the state of the fields or the abundance of hunting. Therefore, the ranch was easy to disassemble, since it was composed of only sticks, reeds, straw and mud.

The ranch

The ranch was small and square, with few support posts and wicker rods interwoven, covered with mud and sometimes only protected by hides. The roof of straw or reeds had a hole in the center to escape smoke. Some pieces of wood or cow skulls served as a seat. A small table barely fifty centimetres high for playing cards, a crucifix hanging on the wall and sometimes an image of some other patron saint were all the decorations of the house.

For the gaucho, the ranch was more of a necessity than a luxury. A practical place to spend your idle hours and rest. The gaucho, perhaps, has never had a home.

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