Pampa Indians

Location: Buenos Aires


This illustration, a color reproduction of the original watercolor by Vidal, was selected as a contrast to the other from this work. These men engage in very few of the same costume rituals as the women that have just been discussed. Their costume is stark and somewhat different from the others that we have seen. We can assume that this style of dress is very traditional and also that it is hand-woven, because we know that they come to market to sell many handmade goods. They are depicted in a market stall, selling their goods, including ponchos, which they produce, but do not commonly wear, hide-work, stirrups, boots, and all kinds of animal skins.

The patterns on each garment are unique and we can assume from our knowledge of other tribal costume that these are significant, or perhaps were significant at one time and are now just a matter of traditional weaving techniques. Another item of interest is the headband that they both wear. It's color is a strong contrast to the stark black and white of the garment that they wear and it must be a daily part of their costume, since it is worn by both.

These natives represent the traditional way of life that has been carried on despite the European conquest. Not only do they continue to dress in traditional fashion, they are using the skills that they possess and have acquired over generations of hunting and weaving to benefit and thrive in the modernized economy.

Book Title: Picturesque Illustrations of Buenos Ayres and Monte Video

Plate Number: Page 53

Call Number: F3001 .N64 1820