Argentine gaucho tirador or belt (above top) and detail of the rastras or buckle (above bottom), early 20th Century. The belt is 13 cm. wide (5 inches). The coins are mostly Argentine, Spanish and Chilean of the 19th Century, with a few being dated in the late 18th and early 20th Century. The sand cast central figure of a gaucho on the buckle is throwing the boleadoras, a traditional weapon made up of three weighted balls joined together by long rawhide or sinew cords. The belt would be closed for wearing by inserting the outermost coins into slotted holes at either end of the belt. In its earnest days, the tirador would be the repository of a gaucho's wealth with coins going on or coming off according to the wearer's fortunes.

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Version 1.0 ~ 25 December 1998 ~ Copyright © 1998 by Lee A. Jones