A Gringo Guide To: A Bullfight, A Mexican Rodeo, and a Cockfight

22 Apr
Download Your copy on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; Kobo.com; and soon on Google Play. Search William J. Conaway.

Download Your copy on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; Kobo.com; and soon on Google Play. Search William J. Conaway.

An Excerpt from my “Gringo Guide To: A Bullfight, A Mexican Rodeo, and a Cockfight”.

Your Personal Guide to a Bullfight

A Bullfight is the name commonly given to «La Fiesta Brava» by non-Latins. David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of México’s most popular muralists contemptuously referred to bull fighting as, «The dance of the butchers.» Whatever you call it, you can’t begin to appreciate it until you see and understand one. This chapter will give you an understanding of the details. I’ll explain what’s going on for you.

Fighting bulls and the spectacle, corrida, originally came here from Spain. México has many ranches dedicated to the propagation of the species, but Spain jealously guards its breeding stock and refuses to export either the bulls, regarded as the best in the world, or the semen from them. Consequently the Mexican stock is not what it could be, and the corridas are occasionally marred by cowardly or undersized bulls. Every now and then though, you will see a truly marvelous spectacle, one in which the matador, the bull, and the crowd become as one, totally swept up by the excitement and the atmosphere of it all. Today could be one of those days.

A Corrida de Toros is a demonstration of supreme control of the matador over himself, the bull, and the crowd. The more popular ones woo the crowd and judges with flamboyant maneuvers, such as kneeling before the dominated beast and then disdainfully walking away, back turned.

With traditional passes the matador must narrowly escape the horns and lead the bull to the center of the arena. This is also where the breeding of the animal comes in; all too often they don’t cooperate and the spectacle degenerates into a travesty.

Like any good fiesta in México, it’s a drinking party too! Well oiled fans, aficionados, show up with goat skins, botas, of wine, brandy, tequila, or whatever. Or you can buy beer in plastic cups. Good natured hell-raising is tolerated but rowdiness is definitely not. Sombra, shade, seats are more expensive and the fans are more sedate generally. Sol, sun, are the cheap seats, so to speak, and the fiesta tends to be much more lively there.

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