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Resume of the Riograndense Gaucho History and RS Livre
The first Gauchos descended from the first Spaniards, who arrived in South America and who instead of going back to Europe, stayed on South American ground and the culture fused with the natives' culture. After the arrival of slave work, there emerged from this mix an ethnic group with unique characteristics, different from their original peoples (Spaniards, Native Americans and African tribes).
This creole culture was born in the Pampas region of Rio Grande (nowadays extreme Southern Brazil), Uruguay and Argentina (eastern provinces) and its lifestyle was always related to life in the South American plain lands, field working, cattle and horses.
With the Portuguese and Spanish occupation policy and their land donations of huge farms starts the Estancias Epoch, very large farms, which were managed by Portuguese/Spaniards and/or their descendants who, isolated from their original countries, incorporated the creole culture from the local inhabitants into their own.
Following the fall of the Jesuit missions, the converted Guaranis and the first nomadic Gauchos became the chief workers in those farms, who brought with them the culture, the habits and the language, full of ancient Iberian, indigenous and African elements. Thus the Iberians became Gauchos as they adopted the creole gaucho culture as theirs.
During the many border wars, the Gauchos were always called to fight for their empires (Spain, Portugal and later Brazil) or for Unitarian or Federalists (in Argentina), being poorly paid (if at all) and abandoned after the battles. Military experts name this particular fight style "Guerra gaucha" (Gaucho war) where huge cavalries battled against each other on free land.
At the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, the idea of a union between the Spanish speaking Gauchos (Argentine Gaucho provinces and the Banda Oriental, later Uruguay) for the creation of a big confederation got stronger.
In this context, the Argentine Unitarian troops prevail, but Uruguay gets its independence, after a short period of Brazilian occupation. The idea of independence, which was already growing steadily, motivated the various Riograndense oppositional groups (under different objectives) to rebel against the Brazilian Empire, which reached its peak with the proclamation of the Riograndense Republic on September, 11th 1836.
Until 1845, the Riograndense Republic remained independent from Brazil, with its own currency, government and army, when they finally lost the war and were compelled to capitulate, accepting the amnesty proposals (which were not respected) from the side of the Brazilian emperor.
After a period of forgetting its revolutionary history and their independentist aspirations, the Brazil state imposed a revision of the Riograndense history, including it in the Brazilian history and equaling it to other unrests during its time of regencies, ignoring the unique history of these people and their ethnicity as Gauchos as far as the point where they turned the Gaucho fight for independence into a "great demonstration of brazility".
The NGO "Rio Grande Livre" tries to recover the history of the Riograndense Gauchos under their own perspective, including them into a common context to other gaucho neighbors, outside of which they cannot be understood, making it possible for the Riograndense Gauchos to recognize their own identity and their gaucho Homeland.