“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Toni Meneguzzo
Gauchillos is my research on the Argentinian syncretism and the culture of devotion. Through a vast array of over 100 images, my project describes the Argentinian people cults of Gauchito Gil and San la Muerte, both vivid typifications of syncretism. It’s an original testimony of the genuine sanctity and exhilarating devotion to these two figures, who represent the need of an alternative to the official saints of the Catholic church.In the last few years, the Gauchito Gil cult has been spreading all over in other countries of South America, and has become a phenomenon of authentic folklore with costumes, shrines and temples that are simple yet sophisticated. I criss-crossed the Argentinian areas where the cults of these two popular saints were born and are most centred: Corrientes, El Chaco, Missione and Buenos Aires, with a special attention to the celebrations of January 8th, anniversary of the murder of Gauchito Gill.
My project Gauchillos beatifies and honours the world of the lower social classes, who ask these saints help for their basic needs. Most of the images include flags, costumes and decorations in red colour that is the federal colour representing Gauchito Gil.
Ex votos in the main temple of Gauchito Gil in Mercedes town, Corrientes.
National sanctuary of Gauhito Gil in Alejandro Korn.
Gauchito Gil devotee at the shrine of the holy virgin in the temple of the popular saint in El Campito de la Carolina.
Teenager devotee of Gauchito Gil in the praying room of temple of the popular saint in El Campito de la Carolina.
Devotee of San la Muerte in the praying room of the popular saint temple in El Campito de la Carolina.
San la Muerte devotee who heals in the name of the popular saint in his garden dedicated to San la Muerte in Buenos Aires suburbs of Vittoria.
Main entrance to the San la Muerte garden of the devotee healer in Buenos Aires suburbs of Vittoria.
Official museum dedicated to Gauchito Gil collecting all the donations to the popular saint, in Mercedes town Corrientes.
Collection of xx votos in the main temple of Gauchito Gil in Mercedes town, Corrientes.
San la Muerte tatoo on the back of a devotee imprisoned in Mercedes federal jail.
Shrine of San la Muerte in a private house in Barranqueros Resistencia village.
Chamamè dancer resting during the January 8 celebrations in Mercedes town.
Young girl, responsible for the San la Muerte temple in the Buenos Aires suburbs of San Vicente, with her dog.
The custodians of the main temple of Gauchito Gil in Mercedes town, Corrientes. She wears the official red colour of the popular saint