Mexican Bullfight

Posted by on September 10, 2010

Fridays are for Bulls.

Jenny and I’s last day in Mexico, and the reason we extended our flight, was dedicated to a bullfight.  Held every Friday in connection with the State Fair of San Luis Potosi, Oscar had actually never been to one either.  From a cultural standpoint, it was really interesting and a lot of fun.  The vibe reminded me a lot of being at a cockfight in the Philippines, only the excitement level from the very beginning of a cockfight was here maintained throughout most of the fight.

Plaza del Toros.

From an ethical standpoint, it was a little off.  The bull runs into the ring already a little bloody and some of the (6 that we saw) bulls were wobbling quite a bit as they ran.  Immediately upon entering the ring, the bull is goaded into attacking a horse (who is blinded and wearing lots of armor) with a rider atop.  As the bull tries to gore the horse, the horse’s rider stabs the bull in the back several times with a spear.  Once this is over, toreadors pin the bull twice with a sort of decorated hook that hangs on the bull for most of the rest of the fight.  Finally, after all this is over, the fight comes down to one bull versus one man.  After a bit of cape waving and misdirection to cheers of “Ole!” the matador switches swords and prepares for the kill.  If the first stab doesn’t see the sword fully into the bull’s back, the bullfighter tries again until he succeeds.  Finally, the bull dead, two horses come into the ring and together drag the bull off on a chain.

Standoff in the Ring.

While I’m glad that we went, it was a strange experience and one that I’m not sure I’d be excited to repeat.  I had pictured a “fair fight” between one guy and one angry bull, and that’s certainly not what we saw.

All that said, though, we had delicious beef for dinner that night at the State Fair.  And steak for my cousin’s birthday in Houston a few days later.  Who am I to judge?

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2 Responses to Mexican Bullfight

  1. DEK

    The bullfight is liturgical theatre. Good versus Evil; Light versus Darkness. The same idea as the ancient MesoAmerican ballgame. The Good Guys have to win; otherwise, the sun might not come up.

    We wouldn’t want that now, would we?

    And this way, the Bull gets his time on center stage. Not some anonymous slaughter in an industrial abattoir.

    Lucky Bull.

    • slioy

      Definitely a more well-considered response than a lot of the gut reactions people give when seeing stuff like this. I’m not sure about “Lucky Bull” in because in the end the result is the same, but surely we all want our moment of glory before our lights are snuffed forever?

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