Cultural groups from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay meet in Montevideo on July 18-19 and agreed to join forces to get the UN to recognize the gaucho (gaúcho in Portuguese) as part of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. The effort to preserve the history and culture of the gaucho was organized by the International Gaucha Tradition Confederation, or CITG.
The horse-riding, nomadic gauchos have roamed the regions of Uruguay, Argentina, and southern Brazil since the 18th century, fighting in the 19th-century independence and internecine wars, and passing down an individualistic culture still alive among ranch hands.
At the gathering, attended by representatives of gaucho federations in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, participants voted to promote the figure of the mestizo horse riders to UNESCO. The president of CITG is Manuel Rodriguez, a Uruguayan traditionalist, who presided in Montevideo over the group’s 18th international congress.
“It’s a difficult endeavor and a big one, but it gives us a goal that, if achieved, will be very important for gaucho culture” in the region, said Rodriguez, who also leads Uruguay’s 121-year-old Dr. Elias Regules Creole Society. “It will take some time, but I believe we will be successful,” he said.
Rodriguez said his group submitted a plan to the Uruguayan Education and Culture Ministry and was told it needed to work with Argentina and Brazil to draft a proposal for UNESCO recognition. “We’ll send a proposal to Uruguay’s ambassador in Buenos Aires, Hector Lescano, so he can discuss it with Argentina’s culture minister, Teresa Parodi, to promote the idea,” Rodriguez said, adding that there was an agreement with Brazil’s representatives to work toward the same goal.
During the conference, a parade featuring horse-riding gauchos was held in Montevideo to commemorate the 185th anniversary of Uruguay’s first constitution as an independent nation.
[This article comes from the EFE news agency.]