Bota de Potro

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Bota de Potro

Gauchos made much of their clothing and equipment from leather, plentiful on the livestock-rich pampa. To fashion supple, open-toed riding boots, gauchos killed a colt and stripped the hide from its back legs. The soft skin covered the gaucho's foot, calf, and thigh. As with other elements of gaucho dress, these boots were likely first developed by indigenous peoples who lived on the pampa. The fragile boots wore out after a few months, so another colt would have to be killed. Ranchers called for outlawing the boots because they believed that gauchos stole colts just to fashion them. As wild horses became less plentiful on the plains during the late nineteenth century, imported machine-made boots replaced the homemade variety.

See alsoGaucho .


Madaline Wallis Nichols, The Gaucho (1968), p. 13.

Richard W. Slatta, Gauchos and the Vanishing Frontier (1983), pp. 74-75.

Additional Bibliography

Assunção, Fernando O. Historia del gaucho: El gaucho, ser y quehacer. Buenos Aires: Editorial Claridad, 1999.

                                        Richard W. Slatta