Martín Fierro, also known as El Gaucho Martín Fierro, is a 2,316-line epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández. The poem was originally published in two parts, El Gaucho Martín Fierro (1872) and La Vuelta de Martín Fierro (1879). The poem supplied a historical link to the gauchos’ contribution to the national development of Argentina, for the gaucho had played a major role in Argentina’s independence from Spain.
This paperback edition with notes by Santiago M. Lugones was issued by Alianza Editorial in 1980. Cover designer Daniel Gil often worked with simple photographs of objects. In this case, he shows the boleadoras, or bolas. Originally created by the indigenous people of Patagonia and the Pampas, this throwing weapon was later adopted and modified by the gauchos for capturing running cattle, and became part of their quintessential equipment.
The chosen typeface doesn’t have a connection to South America or gaucho culture. With its rugged contours and rounded terminals, it’s a considered visual match for the boleadores, though. Originally released by the Flinsch foundry in Frankfurt as Bernhard-Antiqua schmalfett in 1912, it was revived by Letraset under the name Bernhard Antique Bold Condensedaround 1977.