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ORIGIN OF THE PANTANEIRO HORSE IN BRAZIL
ORIGEN DEL CABALLO PANTANERO EN EL BRASIL
Santos, S.A., J.R.B. Sereno, M.C.M. Mazza and C.A. Mazza.
EMBRAPA/CPAP C. Postal 109. 79320-900 Corumbá. MS - Brazil
Palabras clave adicionalesAdditional Keywords
Historia equina. Raza pantaneira. ColonizaciónHistoric horse. Pantaneiro breed. Brazil
del Brasil.colonization.
SUMMARY
horse has played an important role in theThe first horses that arrived in the Pantanal,
development of the Pantanal region.a flooded land of the states of Mato Grosso and
Mato Grosso do Sul (Central Western region of
Brazil), formed a breed - the Pantaneiro horse -
RESUMENa product of natural selection over the last three
centuries, and adapted to the regional
Los primeros caballos que llegaron al pantanal,environmental conditions. Until recently, little
una planicie inundable de los Estados de Matoor no human interference was imposed on this
Grosso y Mato Grosso do Sul (región Centroprocess. There is some information about dates
Oeste de Brasil) dieron lugar a una raza - elwhen the first horses entered the region, but
caballo pantanero - producto de la selecciónnone of it is precise. The earliest origin apperars
natural por más de dos siglos, adaptada a lasto be related to such spanish expeditions as
condiciones ambientales de la región. Hay algunasthose of Pedro de Mendoza, in 1534; Alvar
informaciones sobre las fechas de la entrada deNúñez Cabeza de Vaca, in 1540; and Ñuflo de
los primeros caballos a la región, pero ninguna deChávez, in 1543. The animals brought by these
ellas es precisa. El origen más remoto estáexpeditions were, for the most part, Iberian
relacionado con las expediciones españolas, taleshorses. Some horses on these expeditions were
como las de D. Pedro de Mendoza, en 1534; Alvarlost in the Pantanal, proliferating and,
Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, en 1540, y Ñuflo deconsequently, populating the area. The Guaicuru
Chávez en 1543. Los animales traídos por estasindians helped to spread horses in the Pantanal.
expediciones fueron en su mayor parte, ibéricos.They learned horse management from the spanish
Algunos caballos de estas expediciones fueronand extended their range. Explorers arriving in
th abandonados en el pantanal, proliferando athe state of Mato Grosso, particularly in the 17
th continuación y poblando el área. Los indiosand 18 centuries, coming from the state of Sâo
Guaicuru ayudaron a diseminar los caballos en elPaulo, by way of the Tietê-Paraná-Paraguay rivers,
Pantanal. Ellos aprendieron el manejo del caballoand from Goiás by road, may have also contributed
a través de los españoles y extendieron suto the introduction of horses into the region.
dominio. Exploradores que llegaron al Estado deSince the formation of the Pantaneiro breed, this
Arch. Zootec. 41 (extra): 371-381. 1992. Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 371.SANTOS et al.
Mato Grosso, particularmente en el siglo XVII y Seeking the conservation and en-
XVIII, desde el Estado de Sâo Paulo, por la via couragement of Pantaneiro horsebree-
fluvial Tietê-Paraná-Paraguay y, por caminos, ding, the Brazilian Agricultural Re-
desde Goiás, también pueden haber contribuido search Corporation (EMBRAPA) is
a la introducción de los caballos en la región. carrying out studies on this breed e.g.
Desde la formación de la raza pantanera, este bibliographic investigation on th
caballo representa un papel importante en el history of Pantaneiro horse origins. It
desarrollo económico y social de la región del is known that its origin is linked to the
Pantanal. history of Central and South American
occupation. Several dates relating to
the arrival of horses in the region
INTRODUCCION exist, nevertheless, there is need for
deeper studies on the origin of this
Horses introduced into the Pantanal ecotype.
by the conquerors during th
colonization period found in thi
region good environmental conditions THE INTRODUCTION OF THE
for their multiplication. As a conse- HORSE IN THE AMERICAS:
quence of the suitable processes and BRAZIL
natural selection for more than two
centuries with little or no human There were no horses in the New
action, a type of animal adapted to the World before the discovery period
environment appeared. Through the and the first introduction was due to
development of cattle breeding in the Christopher Columbus, in 1493, on
Pantanal region, the Pantaneiro horse the occasion of his second trip to the
constituted an economically an Santo Domingo island (Hermsdorff,
socially important factor, becoming a 1956; Ensminger, 1978 and Dowdall,
must for the cattle industry and for 1982). Explorers and settlers brought
regional transportation. to America all the first equine breeds
thAt the end of the 19 century, the from the Ancient World mainly of
breed started a population reduction spanish origin. The ancient settlers
process mainly caused by a disease from the east coast also brought
called Peste das cadeiras (Trypano- horses of english, berberian, arabic
somiasis). Later other menaces t and turkish origins. The breeds of
survival appeared with indiscriminate cold blood were not introduced into
crossbreeding and more recentl the Americas in significant number
thInfectious Equine Anemia. However, until the end of the 19 century. The
conservation works whith this ecotype horses brought by settlers adjusted
were started with the creation of the quickly to the new environment and
Brazilian Pantaneiro Horse Breeders in a few years they spread to the
Association and afterwards with surrounding lands, where the
initiatives from other governmental increased in number (Hermsdorff,
institutions.
eyseyod
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 372.
1956).ORIGIN OF THE PANTANEIRO HORSE IN BRAZIL
The introduction of horses in Brazil to the Köppen classification, with
occurred during the colonization average temperatures varying from
period, immediately on the first trips, 20 to 28 C and relative humidit
with the purpose of explorating the from 60 to 80%. The annual rainfall
continent, because this was the main oscilates between 1.000 and 1.400
means of transportation during this mm. This region is a wide plain of
period (Dowdall, 1982). The first alluvial accumulation, with average
horses and cattle were brought t altitude 120 m above sea level, and it
three places along the Brazilian coast: has marked rainy and dry seasons that
Pernambuco, in 1535, Sâo Vicente in vary in intensity and geographi
1543 and Bahia in 1549, by the donees extension, according to the annual
Duarte Coelho, Martim Afonso climatic and hydrologic characteristics
Tomé de Souza, respectively (Chieffi, (Brasil, 1974).
1950 and Torres and Jardim, 1977).
These were the three original breeding
centers from which they spread to COLONIZATION AND ARRIVAL
almost all the coastland and a great OF HORSES IN THE BRAZILIAN
number of animals to the hinterland CENTER-WEST REGION
(Hermsdorff, 1956). Those brought
to Bahia and Pernambuco wer In the late 1500’s, Spain an
dispersed in the direction of th Portugal divided the discovered lands
center west, from the northeast to the and those yet to be discovered, through
north; and those of Sâo Paulo, in the a divisory line - the Tordesillas treat
direction of the states of Paraná and figure 2 ). However, the action of
Santa Catarina. The horses from the several pioneers advanced the divisor
extreme south and center wes line and incorporated into Portuguese
originally animals proceeding from dominions territories that shoul
Spain were reproduced in Argentina belong to Spain. Some of the main
and Uruguay (Goulart, 1964). areas of attrition were the Plata and
Paraguay river basins. The Paragua
THE PANTANAL basin in the CenterWest constituted
the route that facilitated th
The Matogrossense Pantanal i penetration of men in the region
situated in the centerwest region of (Almeida et al ., 1959). The first
Brazil, between 16 and 22 lat. South immigrants that arrived in this region
and 55 and 58 long. West. Th were the spanish jesuits who settled
Pantanal corresponds to 35% of the in the margins of the Aquidauana,
high Paraguay river basin, which is Miranda and Guaporé rivers an
situated in the central part of South other places, but they were dislodged
America ( figure 1 ). The Paragua by the colonial exploratory expeditions
river is a tributary of the Paraná and from S. Paulo and by force of the
both form part of the Plata basin. The international treaties (Lucidio and
climate is of the type Aw according Rondon, 1972).
ddscoyeooyodtye(eyeey
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 373.SANTOS et al.
D. Pedro de Mendoza, born in and populate the lands and provinces
Guadiz (Cádiz), Andalusia, wa of this region. The armada (fleet) left
designated the first civil and militar San Lucar of Barrameda, in 1535
governor of the Plata river, by Carlos (Araújo, 1990) with 100 horse
V in 1534. His mission was to conquer destined for work and reproduction,
Figure 1. Map of Pantanal localization in South America. (Godoi Filho, 1986).
(Mapa de la localización del Pantanal en la América del Sur. (Godoi Filho, 1986).
sys
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 374.ORIGIN OF THE PANTANEIRO HORSE IN BRAZIL
Figure 2. Map indicating the divisory line in Brazil according to the Tordesillas
Treaty. Some expeditions mentioned in the text are designated as follows: (5)
th Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in the 16 entury; (1) Pascoal Moreira Cabral;
(2) and (3) Antônio Raposo Tavares; (4) Manoel P. and (6) A.R. Tavares, André
thFernandes and Fernâo Dias Paes, the main expeditions (“bandeiras”) of the 17
thand 18 centuries. (Based on Albuquerque, 1983). (Mapa indicando la línea divisoria en
el Brasil de aucerdo con el tratado de Tordesillas. Algunas expediciones mencionadas en el texto son
designadas como sigue: (5) Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca en el siglo XVI; (1) Pascoal Moreira Cabral;
(2) y (3) Antônio Raposo Tavares; (4) Manoel P. y (6) A.R. Tavares, André Fernandes y Fernâo Dias Paes,
las principales expediciones (“bandeiras”) de los siglos XVII y XVIII. (Alburquerque, 1983)).
c
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 375.SANTOS et al.
besides men and officers. D. Pedro de rivers, where he founded the Puerto
Mendoza, in 1536, made the first de los Reyes (Goulart, 1964 an
tentative to found Buenos Aires city. Araújo, 1990).
There 72 horses were disembarked. Other expeditions succeeded, like
The other 28 may have perishe that of Ñuflo de Chávez, who made
during the trip or remained aboard two attempts, but he did not reach
(Hermsdorff, 1956 and Araújo, 1990). Peru. In 1948, Ñuflo de Chávez, on
In 1541, D. Pedro de Mendoza the way back, brought a herd o
chased by Pampa indians, was forced sheep, goats and horses. He arrived in
to leave the region suddenly, leaving Asunción in 1549, distributing cattle
behind several Andalusian horse and horses on the Llanos and Xaraés
which reproduced quickly and formed plains (Araújo, 1990).
the great wild herd of the Pampas Juan de Garay, governor of Plata
(Hermsdorff, 1956 and Bertelli, 1984). river, congregated 1000 horses, 500
Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was cattle, 500 sheep and goats. In June
nominated second governor of the 1580 he founded the second Buenos
Plata river. The fleet left Cádiz in Aires and became surprised with the
December 1540 transporting soldiers, quantity of wild horses living in the
seeds, 46 horses and some cow pampeanos plains, descendents of the
(Araújo, 1990). Cabeza de Vac Andalusian horses brought by Pedro
anchored in Cananéia, then navigated de Mendoza. The spanish, as the
to Santa Catarina, where he lost 2 penetrated the interior, found a great
ships and 20 horses. This made him quantity of horses. The treasurer,
proceed by land, to Paraguay. In this Hernando de Montalvo, who ha
expedition, some of the horses were arrived at the Plata river on expedition
probably lost in the Southern Brazilian with Zárate, estimated more at than
states and Mato Grosso, where the 800 thousand horses (Goulart, 1964
species proliferated and populated and Araújo, 1990).
ththe lands (Goulart, 1964 an In the 17 century the decisive
Hermsdorff, 1956). advance of numerous bandeira
In search of a route to Peru looking (expeditions - inland explorers from
for, Cabeza de Vaca departed from the coastal regions) occurred in
Asunción in 1542, going up th direction of Peru. Some bandeiras
Paraguay river. Afterwards Cabeza took a different route from that of
de Vaca went through the swamps of Aleixo Garcia, across the hinterlands
Xaraés (present region of Pantanal) of Cuiabá, like Antônio Castanho da
(Marques, 1923 and Souza, 1973). It Silva, in 1622, and Antônio Raposo
was probably in 1543 that the indians Tavares, in 1648 ( figure 2 ) (Taunay,
of Paraguay an plains saw for the first 1932 and Sodré, 1941). The first
time, surprised, the footprints of the bandeiras aimed at the capture o
first horses brought by Cabeza de native slaves for agriculture in S.
Vaca. He may have reached th Paulo state since local yields did not
confluence of the Cuiabá and Paragua support expenses with the importation
eyssadedddfysf
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 376.ORIGIN OF THE PANTANEIRO HORSE IN BRAZIL
of african slaves (Marques, 1923). to benefit from gold. Mining originated
thIn the middle of the 17 centur several villages later transformed to
the fight between inacinos an in such cities as Livramento and
paulistas for the great conquest of the Poconé, officially constituted in 1781
west occurred. The occupation o (Almeida et al. , 1959).
southern Mato Grosso and th The bandeiras , in search of indians
consequent expulsion of the spanish or gold, were fragmented and disconti-
and inacinos , jesuit followers nuous. The inevitable decadence of
established in the region constituted mining marked a pause in the human
the cycle of Vacaria . Vacaria was the development of the west, which was
name given to the region at that time interrupted by the slow start of a new
and comprised the large meridional activity, cattle raising. However, this
zone limited by the Paraná river, activity was almost extinguished in
Maracaju Sierra, Amambaí an 1850, due to the Peste das cadeiras
headwaters of the Pardo river (Taunay, (Trypanosomiasis) which affected all
1932 and Sodré, 1941). In these lands the horses on the farms, to such an
a great number of cattle and horses extent that no animal was left t
were scattered many without owners. manage cattle.
thAt the end of the 17 century the Cattle purchasers did not return
settlers coming from Sâo Paulo spread because they had to bring horses from
across the region of Vacaria , for their provinces to separate cattle.
example Antonio Raposo Tavares, Long distances and heavy work led
André Fernandes, Antonio Pire horses to their death, causing great
Campos and others. In 1682, one of economic losses to cattle purchases.
the most important expeditions, that This reduced cattle commerce and
of Braz Mendes Paes, occurre thus greater riches were seriousl
destroying the population of Vacaria damaged.
Afterwards, several bandeira Trips to Cuiabá by means of rivers
arrived, Antônio Pires Campos and were extremely trying. To make things
Pascoal Moreira Cabral in 1717 and easier, in 1736 authorities opened up
1719 respectively ( figure 2 ) (Marques, a route from Sâo Paulo to Cuiabá,
1923 and Taunay, 1932). through Goiás, shortening the trip.
At this time, roads and routes were The first horses originating from
rough and the bandeirantes coming Goiás were introduced into the Cuiabá
from S. Paulo did not have horses like province in 1737 (Mello, 1968).
to the spanish did. The contrast
between spanish and portuguese were
so evident that they could b THE ROLE OF THE GUAICURU
distinguished afar as being mounted INDIANS IN THE DISSEMINA-
or not (Corrêa Filho, 1924). TION OF THE HORSE
With the accidental discovery of
gold in 1717, by the bandeirantes , the The bandeiras , as they penetrated
course of history in the region changed the Centerwest were confronted b
completely. Men started to settle and the spanish and indian people
oesfyssde,dy.yds
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 377.SANTOS et al.
(Almeida et al., 1959). These explorers The initial dissemination of horses in
were many times forced to face the Mato Grosso state is due to th
bravery and the ferocity of the indians, Guaicuru indians, whose horse
especially from three nations, th reached the proximities of Cuiabá,
Caiapó, Guaicuru and Paiagu mimoso ( Paratheria prostrata
(Marques, 1923). grasslands, where the indians arrived
The Guaicuru indians, also known in search of pastures (Goulart, 1964).
as rider indians lived on the right With the domination of the horse,
border of the Paraguay river, between the Guaicuru became nomadi
the cities of Corumbá and Miranda, warriors, feared by other indians and
located in the South of Mato Grosso settlers. Around 1720, the presence of
(Goulart, 1964). the Guaicuru was rare (Proença, 1958).
These indians learned to tame the In this period, when river explorers
horse with the spanish, around the coming from the State of Sâo Paulo
thfirst decades of the 17 century. passed through the State of Mat
They started to use these animals with Grosso in search of recently discovered
incomparable skill, which made it gold mines in Cuiabá, the Guaicuru
easy to spread their domination and joined with the Paiaguá indians against
territory all over the Pantanal region. the invaders.
Around 1672, the indians started to As soon as the dominion of the
thieve horses from the spanish and Guaicuru started to solidify in the
before 1716, the Guaicuru kept their South of Mato Grosso, the obstacle of
distance from the spanish an the castilian penetrations wer
afterwards became more insolent with initiated, contributing directly to the
the horses they had robbed (Holanda, incorporation of this area in to the
Portuguese patrimony. The Guaicuru
These animals descended mainl indians associated with the Paiaguas
from those introduced by the spanish showed hostility towards the bandeiras
settlers, from iberian horses (Goulart, for years until they were defeated. As
th1964; Souza, 1973) and seen to be the early as in the 19 century, th
only tribe to adopt the horse in the Guaicuru indians showed the first
region, where it became an efficient sign of desintegration and decadence
means of locomotion on the plains caused by civilization especially b
(Martins, 1992). Indians and horses their addiction to drink. To obtain
had a great deal in common (Souza, alcoholic beverages, they negociated
even their most beautiful horse
As the spanish established ne (Proença, 1958).
farms, they were attacked by th
Guaicurus, thieving thousands o
horses and cattle. In 1796, the spanish THE FORMATION OF THE
organized a bandeira (expedition) to PANTANEIRO HORSE
destroy the indians (Proença, 1958).
In the extreme West, there was no The horses brought to the America
direct influence of cattle over horses. suffered local influences, giving rise
dey)eswcoyeesáfe
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 378.
1973).
1986).ORIGIN OF THE PANTANEIRO HORSE IN BRAZIL
to several national breeds. Th difficult to demonstrate the ethnic
characteristic environment of each composition of the equine population
region, involving such a series o of Spain in that period, the types of
factors as climate, soil, pastures, and horses that predominated and which,
management have a great influence for useful reasons, geographi
over the phenotype. This environment discrimination and so on, could be
will permit or not, according to the those to come to the America
circumstances that each individual (Dowdall, 1982). Many of the horses
express phenotypically its genotype brought to the region were Andalusian
(Dowdall, 1982). The pantaneiro horse which is an ancient horse breed from
is considered a naturalized breed Spain, that came with moorish
thderived from the breeds introduced invasions in the 8 century A.D.,
in different periods in Brazil by the when the barbs and arabian horses
colonizers and settlers (Domingues, were interbreeding with local ponies
and more recently with higher horses
The first horses that arrived in the (Araújo, 1990).
Pantanal region aclimatized an Portugal and Spain had on that
multiplied easily, becoming a type ocasion, animals that had suffered
adapted to the bioclimatic conditions, blood infusion from horses introduced
product of a natural selection for by the moors, during the years of
more than two centuries, with little or mussulman domination in the Iberian
no human action (Balieiro, 1971). peninsula. The improved action o
Natural selection is the differential these eastern animals in the region of
propagation of genotypes. Satisfactory Andalusia, contributed to the rise of
genotypes will be found in successive the Spanish Andalusian breed
generations through competition (Chieffi, 1950).
between individuals. These properties Some horses found around th
are known as adaptable (Berger, 1986). world can be classified as founder
Domesticated animals can turn breeds due to ancient origins and
into non domesticated that is wild important contributions to th
animals ( Feral refers to a wild state of development of such recent breeds as
existence in domestic animals). These the Arab ( Equus caballus asiaticus
animals are called the mustang and and the Barb ( Equus caballu
cayuse in North America, brumby in orientalis ). A purebred does not exist
Australia, and cimarrón , bagua l or because this is a relative term
monstrero in South America (Berger According to Peloso (1981), pur
1986). In the Spanish Real Academic breeds refer to an animal population
Dictionary the word bagual means totally uniform, in which al
ferocious, wild and indomitabl individuals would have the sam
(Hutchinson et al. 1977). genetic structure. On a zoological
One of the difficulties in th scale, this would invalidate th
evaluation of the origin of certain variation phenomenon and thus the
breeds is the identification of ancestral genetic progress.
breeds (Hutchinson et al 1977). It is Balieiro (1971) considered th
ece)dseseflesfeee.e
Archivos de zootecnia, vol. 41, núm. 154 (extra), p. 379.
1968).SANTOS et al.
following Pantaneiro counties as the In summary, the present stud
place where the breed appeared: Santo demonstrates that the Pantaneiro horse
Antônio de Leverger, Barâo d had its probable origin from Iberian
Melgaço, Nossa Senhora d horses introduced by spanish settlers,
th thLivramento, Poconé, Cáceres specially in the 16 and 17 centuries,
Corumbá and Aquidauana. Th stand up the importance of th
Pantaneiro horse received several Guaicuru indians stand out in th
names, according to place of origin: dissemination of horses in the Pantanal.
thPoconeano (from Poconé), Mimoseano Only in the 18 century, with the
(from the Mimoso fields of Barâo de opening of a route from Sâo Paulo to
Melgaço), Baiano (from the baía fields Cuiabá, through Goiás, the horses
in Poconé) and Curraleiros (from the were introduced in the Pantanal came
flooded plains of the Paraguay river) from the Brazilian coast, a region of
(Bertelli, 1984 and Goulart, 1964). Portuguese colonization.
REFERENCES
Albuquerque, M.M., A.C.F. Reis, C.D. vivas. Pantanal de Mato Grosso. Cerifa
Carvalho, T. Castro. 1983. Atlas Histórico Editora, Sâo Paulo, 337p.
Escolar. 8. ed. MEC. Rio de Janeiro. 187p.
Brasil. Departamento Nacional de Obras de
Almeida, F.F.M. and M.A. Lima. 1959. Planalto Saneamiento. 1974. Estudos hidrológicos da
Centro Ocidental e Pantanal Mato- Bacia do Alto Paraguai; relatório técnica.
grossense. Conselho Nacional de Geografía, s.l.v.i.
Rio de Janeiro. 69p.
Chieffi, A. 1950. Criemos Bons Eqüídeos. 2. ed.
Araújo, R.V. 1990. Os jesuítas dos 7 povos. Ministério da Agricultura. Serviço de
Editora La Salle. Canoas, RS, 467p. Informaçâo Agrícola. Río de Janeiro. pp: 9-
42.
Balieiro, E. de S. 1971. Subsídios ao estudo do
cavalo Pantaneiro. Sâo Paulo. Anuário, Corrêa-Filho, V. 1924. Notas à margem. S. Paulo.
Comissâo Coordenadora da Criaçâo do Secçâo de Obras. “O Estado de S. Paulo”,
Cavalo Nacional. Ministério da Agricultura. 183p.
pp: 59-65.
Domingues, O. 1968. O gado nativo do Brasil:
Berger, J. 1986. Wild horses of the great basin. as supostas raças bovinas. Revista da Agricultura.
Social Competition and Population Size. The 43: 71-72.
University of Chicago Press, Chicago and
London. 326p. Wildlife Behaviour and Dowdall, R.C. 1982. Criando Criollos.
Ecology Series. Hemisfério Sur. Buenos Aires. 409p.
Bertelli, A.P. 1984. O paraíso das espécies Ensminzer, M.E. 1978. Producción Equina.
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