Monday, November 18, 2013

Corrida de toros

Corrida de toros

 Corrida de toros is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Hispanic American countries and the Philippines, in which one or more bulls are baited, and then killed in a bullring for the entertainment of the audience.  Although a blood sport, by definition, some followers of the spectacle prefer to view it as a 'fine art' and not a sport, as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings. In Portugal, it is now illegal to kill a bull in the arena, so it is removed and either professionally butchered or, in exceptional cases, treated and released into its owners fields.

The bullfight, as it is practiced today, involves professional toreros who execute various formal moves which can be interpreted and innovated according to the bullfighter's style or school. It has been alleged that toreros seek to elicit inspiration and art from their work and an emotional connection with the crowd transmitted through the bull. Such maneuvers are performed at close range, after the bull has first been weakened and tired by lances and short spears with barbs which are thrust into and then hang from the bull. The close proximity places the bullfighter at some risk of being gored or trampled by the weakened bull. After the bull has been hooked multiple times behind the shoulder by other matadors in the arena, the bullfight usually concludes with the killing of the bull by a single sword thrust, which is called the estocada. In Portugal, the finale consists of a tradition called the pega, where men try to grab and hold the bull by its horns when it runs at them.

Supporters of Corrida de toros argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music, whilst critics hold that it is a blood sport perpetrated as a cowardly act resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses.

Forms of non-lethal Corrida de toros also appear outside the Iberian and Francophone world, including the Tamil Nadu practise of jallikattu; and the Portuguese-influenced mchezo wa ngombe is also practiced on the Tanzanian islands of Pemba and Zanzibar. Types of Corrida de toros which involve bulls fighting other bulls, rather than humans, are found in the Balkans, Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Bangladesh, Japan, Peru and Korea. In many parts of the Western United States, various rodeo events like calf roping and bull riding were influenced by the Spanish Corrida de toros.

Spanish-style bullfighting is called corrida de toros or la fiesta In the traditional corrida, three matadores, each fight two bulls, each of which is between four and six years old and weighs no less than 460 kg. Each matador has six assistants two picadores mounted on horseback, three banderilleros – who along with the matadors are collectively known as toreros and a mozo de espadas. Collectively they comprise a cuadrilla.  The word "matador" is only used in English, whereas in Spanish the more general "torero" is used and only when needed to distinguish the full title "matador de toros" is used.

The crowd may petition the president to award the matador an ear of the bull by waving white handkerchiefs. If his performance was exceptional, he will award two ears, and in certain more rural rings, a tail can still be awarded. Very rarely, if the public or the matador believe that the bull has fought extremely bravely, the event's president may be petitioned to grant the bull a pardon and if it is granted, the bull's life is spared; and it is allowed to leave the ring alive and return to the ranch from where it came. Then the bull becomes a stud bull for the rest of its life.

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