“Crioulo Rodeo attracts 100,000 people”. This was a headline publicada by the Folha de Londrina newspaper, on May 1, 1998, about the Crioulo Rodeo held in São Luiz do Purunã. When we stopped to consider that the population of the district is currently around 1,500 people, the public who attended the rodeo was 66 times the number of inhabitants.
To talk about Rodeio Crioulo, it is important to first contextualize about the origin and what the rodeo practice itself is about. This activity arose in the United States in the 17th century, when the American colonists brought to their culture some customs of Spanish origin that were practiced by Mexicans, such as parties and animal taming.
As time went by, the rodeo became more like what we know today: an activity that basically consists of an attempt to rescue the tradition of the country life in animal husbandry.
The Crioulo Rodeo surgiu no Rio Grande do Sul in the 1950s, from the lasso throwing tournaments, using horses of the Crioulo breed, in order to rescue manifestations of the countryside traditions. The first Crioulo Rodeo was in Vacaria (RS), and since then it has proliferated and motivated more people to be able to experience the traditional gaucho customs.
At the rodeos it is possible to experience different cultural manifestations: the dance, the chula (characteristic and exclusive tap dancing of peões), the declamation, the trova (creation and improvisation of sung verses), the typical clothes, exhibition of animals such as country cattle and crioulo horses and sport, such as lasso throwing, gineteadas and rein competitions.
The lasso test is the favorite of the majority: held in a track where the competitor, mounted on horseback, seeks to lasso the ox according to the limits of time and space stipulated. The gineteada consists of being able to stay as long as possible on a badly tamed horse or not yet domesticated. In the rein race, the course and obstacles must be completed in the shortest possible time.
Who likes rodeos, is usually assiduous. Thus, they make a real camp: with a trailer, truck or tents they organize the space to sleep, they take all the utensils, good meat, mate and of course, the crioulo horses. The rodeo space becomes a Crioulo city: the representatives of each municipality form a family and the party is guaranteed.
The Crioulo horse has its origin in the Spanish Andalusian and Jacas horses, brought from the Iberian peninsula in the 16th century by the colonizers. Established in America, mainly in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and southern Brazil, many of these animals started to live free, forming wild herds that, for about four centuries, faced extreme temperatures and adverse feeding conditions. These adversities printed in these animals some of its most striking features: rusticity and resistance. In the middle of the 19th century, farmers in the south of the continent began to become aware of the importance and quality of the horses that roamed their lands. This new breed, well defined and with its own characteristics, started to be preserved, gaining worldwide notoriety since the 20th century, when the technical selection praised its value and proved its virtues.
Crioulo rodeo in São Luiz do Purunã
This tradition of São Luiz do Purunã’s Crioulo rodeo began in 1963, under the command of “Boss” Dinarte de Almeida Garrett. And, due to its success, it started to be held annually, with a program that went beyond riding practices, extending to other activities related to the gaucho culture and the traditionalism of the region. It became popular as a typical event in São Luiz do Purunã, to the point of mobilizing thousands of people to participate in the following editions, until it became the largest meeting of Crioulo rodeo in Brazil.
The event grew and solidified to attract up to 2 thousand peões who participated in the activities, in addition to the audience of spectators who visited and remained in the district during the event days. The bash lasted three days.The program unfolded as follows: in the track, before the activities of the peões and after the flags were raised, the ornate parade of the knights was carried out. Afterwards, there was the celebration of the Crioulo Mass in honor of Nossa Senhora Aparecida, São Sebastião and São João. And it was only after the presentations of the Centers of Gaucho Traditions, did the disputes begin.
Typically pilchados (boot, hat, bombachas, belt / guaiaca and scarf) the pedestrians are applied in the tests of lasso, marking, pialo, running, gineteadas, reins, chair and table, drum and stump, among other modalities. Between tests the entertainment consisted of harmonica competitions, dances, poetry and songs.
During the days of the event, participants used to give up the possibilities of staying in hotels and inns, to live the experience of the countryside and the tropeiro traditions in practice. They spent their time camped in a campsite attached to the lasso track and consumed the local cuisine in their daily lives, with the flavors of tropeira recipes. Learn more about the tropeira culture aqui.
For 38 years this remarkable event was responsible for forming great champions, strengthening the tropeira origins and taking the name of São Luiz do Purunã, Rodeio and Crioulo Horse to a new level, in addition to creating bonds of friendships and uniting couples who came across same objective of different regions of the country.
Learn more about gaucho traditions
In São Luiz do Puruna you have the opportunity to experience other gaucho traditions in practice. Even though this event is no longer part of the region’s calendar, other possibilities remain open for those who want to venture out into the countryside and take the opportunity to learn more about the culture. Access Visite Purunã and explore all the possibilities of activities to experience with us.