The Matadors

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Portuguese & Azorean Style California Bloodless Bullfights

Matador means “killer” and one who fights bulls on foot.

Photograph by Deborah M. Zajac. © All Rights Reserved

These are who we’ve come to see. Their ensemble is quite elaborate with both their riding pants, and bolero jackets being covered with sequins that glint, sparkle in the afternoon or evening light. The Matador is sequined in Gold and their costume is called. “Suit of Light”.  Matadors have worn suits like this since the 1800’s.

Matadors are professionals. They have training, and have gone through a ceremony to become professional called the “alternativa”.

Bullfighting is considered a Performance Art, not a sport.   There is no contest or elements of competition among the bullfighters.

When the Matador first faces the bull he uses the pink cape and tries to tire the angry bull out, and weaken him.

Photography by Deborah M. Zajac. © All Rights Reserved.

While watching the Matador lead the bull around the ring I kept thinking, “It’s a dance.”  The Matador is very graceful, and his steps are small, quick, and purposeful.  Notice his shoes? They remind me of ballet slippers. Notice too how he holds his feet.  He rarely stands with his feet apart. He stands tall, and I want to say compact…his limbs are held in close so he can move quickly if needed.

When the Matador feels the bull is tired, and weakened he switches to the Red Cape, and his sword. The last of the dance is about to begin.

Photography by Deborah M. Zajac. © All Rights Reserved

In some countries the Matador would kill the bull, but the Portuguese and Azorean style the sword is symbolic, and used for traditions sake. The bull is not killed. The Matador uses his “Velcro dart” to symbolically kill the bull.  In California it is illegal to kill the bull as well.

Photograph by Deborah M. Zajac. © All Rights Reserved.

The best Matadors kill the bull on the first strike. The fans applaud, and chant Bravo! They toss him single flowers, and bouquets, as he walks around the arena thanking the fans for their support.

Photograph by Deborah M. Zajac. © All Rights Reserved.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200mm| Induro CT213 tripod

Resources:

Wikipedia

The Art of California Bloodless Bullfights

2 thoughts on “The Matadors

  1. At first I was hesitant to come and see this post as I abhor bullfighting, but since the bull doesn’t get killed, that’s not so bad.

    Good photographs though! 🙂

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