23″ long, flap is 12″, white leather with rawhide/sinew stitching and decorations, slight yellowing from age.
Beautiful hand-made white leather rebenque 50+ years old. It has decorative rawhide work on the handle and on the strap, using two colors of rawhide. The handle is textured by wrapping a wet cord around it, leaving an imprint on the leather. Rebenque is the name in Brazilian Portuguese for a type of whip used by gauchos in South America. Especially in Argentina, it is the traditional riding, fighting, and punishing whip of the gaucho. It consists of a rawhide wrapped wooden handle with a thong made of a leather strap a little longer than the handle. The wide strap made the rebenque an instrument less severe on the horse than the European riding crop. As the gaucho was never far from the horse, the rebenque was always on him. When not in use, he made a knot with the strap and held the rebenque lazily by the wrist strap with the middle fingers of his hand, or hung it from the handle of his facón knife (as he used the large knife almost horizontally at his back, held by the belt or waistband, the handle protruded from his right side). The rebenque was used also for fighting, as a weapon by itself, when the fight did not merit a knife, or with the strap rolled on his left hand and the handle hanging, as a secondary weapon to the knife in his right hand. Of course, it was also used for domestic punishments, and for quasi-judicial chastisement. A couple of lashes with the rebenque on the bare legs were widely used as a punishment for children, even in the urban areas.