Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Huaylas's Bloodless Bull Fighting

Rodeo weekend hit in Jeff's site, so I had to go. To mix things up a little, we'll start with a few pictures, and then move into the details. Enjoy. 

The idea is drunk people go out to wrestle the scarf off the bull, and then they get to keep it (the scarf, not the bull) as a momento. 

Bands and spectators for the Rodeo.

Drunk guy shuttles a caja (box) of beer through the ring for his buddies. 

The Huaylas Plaza de Armas in the background.  

Classic ole.

Rodeo clown strutting his stuff in the bull ring. 


Jeff's site is pretty much in fiesta-mode for most of July and August, with the last big blowout being the corrida (bull fight). However, the only difference between the Huaylas event and a traditional bull fight (which they have in other parts of Ancash and Latin America), the Hauylinos (people form Huaylas) don't kill the bull. No swords, no knives, no blood; except for maybe for the blood shed by any drunk by-standers foolish enough to want to try to stand down a bull. See video:

This event reminded me a lot of the Rodeos in Montana.  You saw local people (shout out to Ryan) getting cheered on by local people (shout out to the Elliots), while riding/competing with local animals (shout out to the giant cow near Stoney's Flea Mart at Clearwater Junction). Just here the bulls seem smaller, there were at least three of the five marching bands playing huayno music at all times, and there was no prize money. The 'bull fighters' mainly played for self-pride and barrio pride. However, I do have to tip my hat to  the rodeo clowns here. I saw three, all mockingly dressed as women (obviously they haven't met a real western rodeo queen) who did some pretty cool tricks (there were no barrels to hide behind). My favorite trick was pole vaulting themselves over the charging bull using two sticks like handheld stilts, and then performing the splits at the perfect time to elude the horns. It was pretty impressive; unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture this specific act on film. But here's a short video of some the antics: