What is a gaucho belt?

You may have heard the term gaucho belt, or seen them in stores across the world; they are a very popular type of leather belt. But what is a gaucho belt? A gaucho belt is a type of colourful, intricately threaded leather belt with roots in the gaucho culture of South America, also known as a polo belt.

A gaucho is a traditional term for a cattle rancher in South America - a lot like the iconic cowboy figure of North America. Gauchos are usually depicted as brave, rugged, skilled horsemen, working alone and as part of a team of other gauchos, across the plains of South America. Through folklore and literary writing, the gaucho has achieved almost legendary status, and gaucho culture has grown very important to South American culture: specifically that of Argentina, Uruguay, and parts of Brazil and Chile.

But how did gaucho belts come about? When the British brought polo over to Argentina from India in the 19th century, the gauchos were naturally very talented polo players, being so skilled with horses. It became immediately very popular all over the country, and teams of gauchos would compete in informal tournaments on the natural polo fields. To differentiate between the teams, they would decorate their belts with vibrantly coloured saddlery thread. Soon, not only the polo players were wearing these stylish belts, and now, people all over the globe sport these gorgeous accessories, whether they are aware of their heritage or not.

Today, our luxury leather polo belts are made with the same love, expertise and hand crafted techniques as the traditional gaucho belts. Explore our website now to see our full range of polo belts. We even still supply polo teams with custom polo belts proudly adorned with their team colors - contact us to find out more.