Gaucho & Frontier Knives

June 11, 2017

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The gaucho is a nomadic breed, roaming the lands as he wishes, and priding himself in the act of living simply. He travels light, carrying only the necessities, often sleeping in the open.

Here in Patagonia a facon (knife) is more than just a blade used to cut. Strapped to their belt or faja, gauchos always have them at hand whether it’s for repairing a fence, shoeing a horse, or possibly even defending his mujer in a knife fight. Living off of the land, the gauchos consume little more than fresh mountain water, yerba mate, and cordero (lamb) or beef. Using the facon, they hold the piece of meat between their teeth or a piece of bread and cut away, leaving silverware virtually useless. 

 

For the Patagone journey, I needed a knife versatile and durable enough to chop wood, start a fire, repair fences, and just about everything in-between.

 

 

I later came across Tindall Knives custom made straight out of Idaho which fit the bill perfectly. 

 

"For Stevie i wanted to design a knife fit for the frontier. I based my design off of a french cartouche knife that was heavily use and traded during the settling of the Western United States.

 

 

They were the knife of choice for many trappers and outdoorsmen of that time. However they were not the best quality of knives, made with the intention to trade. They were thin and often had poorly contoured handles. I made a knife that was inspired by the design but can conquer anything Patagonia has to offer. Made from O1 tool steel the knife has a high saber grind that is both strong but thin enough to excel in food preparation. It has a 90 degree spine that allows use of a ferro rod as well as scraping and processing fire tinder. The handle is made from gorgeous figured walnut and is arced to fit the hand nicely.”Forrest Tindall of Tindall Knives

 

In the Process:

 

 

Final Result:

 

The Gaucho

 by William Wetmore Story

 

Over the lonely, desolate Pampas,

 

A sinewy horse my flying throne,

 

Coiled at my saddle-bow the lasso,

 

In my belt a knife that reaches the bone.

 

I am the Gaucho,—riding, hiding,

 

Whirling the bolas, wielding the knife,

 

Over the prairies of Buenos Ayres,

 

Let him who would take me look out for his life!

 

Ne'er a tide but the fleeting seasons

 

Sweeps o'er the inland sea of grass;

 

Roaring herds, like clouds of thunder,

 

Over its lonely levels pass.

 

Jaguars yell; and, striding, hiding,

 

Ostriches rush—for they fear the knife—                                                                                                         Image: Anne Menke

 

Over the prairies of Buenos Ayres,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Let him who pursues me look out for his life!

 

With my tongues of cows and gourd of yerba,

 

And the cigaritos smoke on my hearth,

 

I laugh at your houses; my saddle 's my pillow,

 

My chamber a thousand miles of earth,

 

With the stars above me gliding, hiding,

 

I lie at ease, as I grasp my knife.

 

On the wide prairies of Buenos Ayres,

 

Let him who awakes me look out for his life!

 

Look! in the distance a cloud is rising;

 

In with the spur! fling loose the rein!

 

Sharp sings the lasso's loop as it whizzes,—

 

And the bellowing bull drops on the plain.

 

Out from my saddle sliding, gliding,

 

Deep in his throat my flashing knife.

 

O'er the wide prairies of Buenos Ayres,

 

Let him who pursues me look out for his life!

 

Keep your dragoons at home—I warn you!

 

For the Gaucho writes his laws in blood;

 

The bolas are ready; coiled is the lasso;

 

And this white dust can be red mud.

 

You for the crows, and, riding, riding,

 

I for the Andes with my knife.

 

Over the prairies of Buenos Ayres,

 

Let him who would take me look out for his life!


 

 

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