The culture of Argentina today reveals very few non-European elements, unlike the strong Native American influence found in the culture of Mexico and the Andean countries of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. The basis for the economy and culture of colonial Argentina was not gold and slaves, since the Spaniards found no rich mines or advanced Indian civilizations upon their arrival.
Instead, the source of Argentina’s wealth was mainly the immense herds of wild cattle and horses that roamed the Argentine pampas and the men who, sometimes pursued by the law, went from the cities to the pampas. These adventurers became the wild horsemen and folk singers known as gauchos.
Home-grown Argentine culture began with the gaucho. With an easily available food supply and with horses and hides for trade, the gauchos lived an isolated and independent life along the perimeter of civilization, improvising poems and songs about their deeds. They often accompanied their songs on the guitar. The gaucho folk culture flourished between 1750 and 1850 and ended with the fencing off of the Pampas. However, the gaucho remained a source of inspiration for Argentine literature, music, and art. "Argentina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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