Bull Fighting in Mexico

IMG_3540_DxO IMG_3546_DxO Portuguese style of bullfighting Matador on Horseback

Due to  the long-standing  Spanish occupation of Mexico,  the culture of this country was heavily influenced by their traditions such as bull fighting which has been a popular pastime for over 400 years. The Spanish style of bullfighting starts with Picadores circling the bull on horseback while jabbing it with lances, followed by  Banderilleros who enter the ring on foot and attack the bull with barbed darts. Finally,  the Matador takes control  performing precise moves to  please the crowd and attract the bull eventually using his  sword to slay the animal.

Another style of bullfighting that is also practiced in Mexico originated in Portugal and differs from the Spanish style in several ways. The Portuguese style involves 2 stages beginning with the Cavaleiros who fights the bull on horseback and stabs the bull 3 or 4 times with a javelin to weaken the animal.  The next stage of the fight involves a suicide squad of 8 men known as Forcadors who challenge the bull without any protection or weapons. This begins with a front man who provokes the bull into a charge. If all goes well the front man performs what’s known as a face catch to secure the animal’s head while the other Forcadors rush in to secure the bull until he is subdued.  Herein lies another difference between the 2 styles of bullfighting, the bull is not slain by the Forcadors but released. The matador’s  purpose, however,  is to slay the bull in the ring.