color photograph of a cowboy riding his horse

Cowboys of the Americas A photography project by Luis Fabini

From the Argentinian Pampas to the Canadian Prairies, discover the life and culture of the Cowboys of the Americas.

During the summer of 2003, while traveling around northern Uruguay, I stopped at the end of a long day to greet a few gauchos gathered around a fire by the side of a dirt road. As is customary, they invited me to share mate, their traditional beverage. As we stared into the fire, the gaucho in charge of the mate passed it around the men, one at a time. They were cattle drovers, herding a thousand head of cattle back to the estancia. I took a chance and asked the eldest one, “Who is the gaucho?” After a long silence, he said, “The gaucho is the land he treads upon.” The authority and conviction of the old gaucho’s words had an immediate impact on me, and the phrase would become the cornerstone of my work and my guiding compass as I embarked on a journey through South and North America, photographing the different groups of cowboys.

I instinctively began in Uruguay where the gaucho had been a familiar figure during my childhood. I didn’t know how much of the traditional gaucho was left in present-day Uruguay, but I sought to capture the power of the bond that man and horse had in my memories. It was a subject close to my heart, and yet it felt new and exciting to explore.

Ever since the 16th century, when the  Spanish conquistadors introduced the horse and cattle to the New World, the legacy of the man who works with his horse has been inextricable from the cultural weave of the Americas. Whatever their name, these extraordinary “centaurs” share a tight bond with their animals and the land. In Uruguay and Argentina, these men are called Gauchos.
In Chile, they are the Huasos; in Brazil, they are the Pantaneiros and Vaqueros. Ecuador has its Chagras and Mexico its Charros. The United States and Canada have the Cowboys. From the Uruguayan Pampas to the Canadian Prairies, I immersed myself in the life and culture of the Cowboys of the Americas. – Luis Fabini

Cowboys of the Americas is available for purchase here: Cowboys of the Americas
Discover more of Luis’s work here: Luis Fabini

Monthly Photo Contest

color photograph a man on the Yamuna river in india is rowing a boat surrounded by birds
© Saurabh Narang

2021 Street Photography AWARD Deadline: 23 September 2021

"It’s not the streets, it’s where the streets lead you that’s important." - Bruce Davidson

One of the most exciting and influential forms of photography, in September we are on the lookout for the best images capturing the pulse of the street.

From candid and unexpected situations to meticulous geometric scenes within the urban sphere, at home or abroad: we want to discover how YOU see the streets!⁠


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

Submit Now