STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Argentine Gauchos' handcrafted knives

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Added On September 15, 2014

Gaucho, which is an equivalent of cowboy in North America, plays a nationalistic symbol in Argentina. 
 
Gaucho's knives, as an important tool in their daily life, have become a representative of Argentine culture.
 
Argentine knives have always been linked to the history of gauchos, who used them for protection, cultivation, hunting and even for personal hygiene like shaving in the past. 
 
Nowadays the gauchos remain in the field work and continue to highlight the engraved knife art.
 
Martin Onetto is a gaucho craftsman, who has been working for the handmade knives in the last 25 years in Buenos Aires. 
 
Onetto says although he can't make a lot of knives in short time, the business is not bad.
 
SOUNDBITE(Spanish): MARTIN ONETTO, Cutler
"Because of the way to make them, the amount of knives I can do is very small. There's always someone who needs a knife. It can be in the Argentine crisis times. No matter it is in good times or bad times, there is always someone who needs a knife."
 
Onetto's knife is made of stainless steel. The most remarkable part is  the core handle of the knife, which is a single piece of the same material.
 
SOUNDBITE(Spanish): MARTIN ONETTO, Cutler
"Steel, bronze, ebony and lignum vitae, which are different in hardness, have to be like one. I have to sharpen the little bezel to make it double edged so the knife has better penetration."
 
Onetto will give his every knife a symbol by embedding a bronze star.
 
According to Onetto, the handcrafted knife is not just a business, but also a way of enhancing the folk culture in Argentina.