¿Dónde? • Bullfighting is most popular in Spain • However, it is also performed in: Portugal, France, Mexico, and some Latin American Countries
Vocabulario • Torero / Matador = Bullfighter • Picadores = Lancers • Banderilleros = Flagmen • Mozo de Espada = Sword Page • Espada = Sword • Muleta = Cape • Traje de Luces = Traditional Outfit • Plaza de Toros = Bullfighting stadium
Official Name = Corrida de Toros • In one Corrida, 3 toreros will participate, along with their teams • Each bullfighter fights 2 bulls = (6 different bulls in one Corrida)
To begin, a loud trumpet call announces the start of each fight (usually a live band) • Then, the torero enters the plaza wearing the traje de luces, the traditional costume, costing hundreds of dollars. • The torero then waves to the crowd, and the judges.
Los Toros • The bull is then introduced to the plaza, usually by name, weight, age, and the name of the ranch where it was raised. • Special ranches raise the bulls, giving them a “life of luxury” to justify it’s cruel death. (lots of room to roam, good diet, etc)
The torero plays with the bull, in order to learn it’s moves and become familiar with it. The torero makes a series of passes and specialized moves with bull. • The toreros are considered athletes and artist and practice for years before becoming professionals
Next, the picadores (lancers) come out on horseback, and use spears/lances to stab and cut the bull’s neck muscles • The horses wear protective gear to keep them from being disemboweled (which used to happen when they didn’t wear the protective gear)
Next, the banderilleros (flagmen) each take turns attempting to place sharp, barbed sticks into the bull’s neck in order to weaken it even more • They hold the decorated sticks in the air, run at the bull, and force them into the bull’s neck, and if successful, they stay
Finally, the torero re-enters the plaza with a small red cape (muleta) and a special sword (espada). • The torero plays with the bull, trying to make it tired and confused • The torero tries to show his bravery and skill by performing special moves, and tries to get as close as possible to the bull without moving
The torero then ends with one final estocada, where he thrusts the sword into the back of the neck, between the shoulder blades • The goal is to hit the heart and cause the bull to die immediately
If the bull does not die, the torero’s team comes to his aid and slits the bull’s throat
The judge and the crowd then decide on how well the torero performed • The audience yells to the torero and the judge • Also, if they did really well, the audience waves handkerchiefs as a sign
The judge can then award an oreja (ear) or cola (tail) to the torero as a reward if they did exceptionally well • The torero then cuts off the tail or ear and waves it to the crowd while parading around the plaza
The bull is then dragged out of the ring by a team of horses or mules and the sand is raked clean of the blood
The meat of the dead bull is then sent to a local butcher who sells the meat after the fight.
This is done 6 times in one corrida (3 toreros, each fighting 2 bulls).
In rare cases, the toreros are seriously injured or even killed. • If a bull kills a torero, the mother is found and killed as revenge.
Sport vs. Animal Cruelty • Today there is much debate about whether Bullfighting is sport or just barbaric animal cruelty • Some say it is a part of the culture, dating back hundreds of years, while others protest the fights and call for it’s end