The Bullfight

  • What is Tauromaquia?
    Tauromaquia its the art of confronting and lide wild bulls.
  • What is a bullfight?
    The bullfight is a form of tauromaquia. Its a cultural show, performative art, where the artista (horsemen, bull killer, a novilheiro or forcado) lide or handle wild bulls, risking his own life to create art.
  • What kind of Bullfighting are there?
    There are many types of bullfighting. The Portuguese Bullfight in wich perform Horsemen and Forcados. The Matador Race is the one in which only bull kills operate. The Mixed Bullfight is the type of race in which horsemen, Matadors or Novilheiros and Forcados perform. The Bulls are the bullfighting spectacles where young practicing riders and / or steers work, that is, bullfighters who have not yet taken the alternative of horsemen or Matador de Toiros, the top step in their professional categories.
  • What happens in the bullring before the bullfight?

    Before the bullfight, these procedures are always performed, mandatory in the Tauromáquico Regulation:

    Landing: It consists of unloading the cattle from the transport truck to the bullring.

    Recognition/Inspection: It consists of the examination by the veterinarian of the physical condition of the bulls and the legally required documentation of the cattle, and their approval or disapproval of them for the show.

    Separation: Before the draw, the cattle are divided (or separated) in batches, taking into account the type of maneuver (foot or horse) and the number of poster heads (horsemen and / or killers) that will act.

    Sorting: After dividing the cattle in batches of two bulls, the lots are drawn by the number of heads (horsemen and / or killers) that will act.

    Embolation: It consists in the placement of leather protections to "cover" the horns of the cattle destined to handle on horseback. Bulls on foot are not trapped.

  • What are the horsemen's instruments used for bullfighting?

    In addition to the horse, the instruments that the horsemen use during the fight are the banderillas, which can be long, short or of span.

    The long banderillas are used at the beginning of the line, by the horsemen. They are placed on the back of the bull, usually between 1 and 3. The objective is to allow the rider to notice the behavior of the bull and fix it in the lead.

    After this initial phase, the rider starts using short bats and usually puts up to four, one at a time. This is the fundamental moment of the knight's artistic conduct and creation, as well as being the most risky. The short banderillas can also be placed on the bull in pairs, which is called "put a pair of banderillas".

    To finish the line some horsemen put one or more small bandarilhas, ending its action.

  • What are the killers bullfighting instruments called?

    The instruments of bullfighting of the matador or novilheiro are the following:

    "Capote" or cape – Made of strong fabric with two different colors on each side, usually salmon on the front and yellow on the back. It is about 1.5m and weighs about 5kg. It is used by the 'matador' to receive the bull when it leaves the curros.

    Muleta – Cloth or red flannel used by the matador to deal with the bull. At the top, on the inside, it has a stainer (a wooden stick) that the killer holds to use the crutch.

    Ajuda – Simulated sword that the killer uses during the battle to arm the crutch. Arming the crutch means putting the sword behind the crutch to increase the area of fabric exposed to the bull.

    Estoque or sword – Sword used by the killer about 75cm with a wool-lined wrist and suede.

  • What is the structure of a Portuguese Bullfight?
    The Portuguese Bullfight is a type of race in which horsemen and forcados act, taking the following form:

    Courtesies - initial moment of the race consisting of the parade of actors in the show to greet the direction of the race and presentation to the public. The courtesies are accompanied by music played by the band.

    As soon as the Race Director orders to open the show, they head through the arena, first the forcados, followed by bullfighters on foot (killers or novilheiros, if they act, and banderilleros), square staff and finally the campinos. All of these elements, with the exception of the riders who are the last to enter the arena, walk side by side, divided into two groups and placed in line, facing the Race Director, in the following order: Matadors or novilheiros (if the race is mixed) and the respective gangs, forming to the right and the gangs of the horsemen forming to the left. In the second row are the forcados, in the third the staff of the sarena and in the fourth the campinos.

    Horse riding – After the touch of the bugle, the bull goes out into the square and is usually received by the Brega pawn of the horseman, who gives a few heads of capote to the bull, so that the horseman can analyze the charge of the bull. Then the horseman receives the bull and prepares the placement of the long billets.

    This is followed by the long banderillas phase. These are placed on the torso's neck, usually between one and three. The objective is to allow the horseman to notice the bull's behavior and to fix him in the lead.

    After this initial phase, the horseman starts using short bats and usually puts up to four, one at a time. This is the fundamental moment of the horseman's artistic conduct and creation, as well as being the most risky. The short banderillas can also be placed on the bull in pairs, which is called "put a pair of banderillas".

    The horseman has at his disposal to help him whenever necessary, two Brega pawns (name of the bandarilheiros that aid the horseman). The horse's sorts should be finished off the stirrup for merit and the bandarillas placed on the cross, prominent region of the bull's neck. The horseman must give top priority to the bull. The basic types of bullfighting on horseback are "de caras", "à tira", "a sesgo", "à meia-volta". The "de caras" is the most difficult and important.

    To finish the lide some hornsemen put one or more small bandarilhas, ending its action.

    Music - during de horseman lide, if this is being artistic and achieved, the Race Director shows a white handkerchief, giving the band a signal to play. The granting of music during the debate is considered a prize for the performance of the artist.

    Handle - After the performance of the horseman has finished, the bugle gives the touch so that the Forcados jump to the arena to execute the handle. This group of eight men line up in front of the bull. The face forked (the first in line) quotes the bull. When the bull invests against him the forcado clings to the neck, or to the horns of the bulls, being next aided by the remaining forcados in square. The handle is consummated only when the forked face is able to remain on the face of the bull and the animal is immobilized. The most commonly used type of handle is the "pega de caras", followed by the "pega de cernelha".

    Collecting the bull – After the handle has been made, the bugle gives the touch so that the campinos enter with the halters (meek oxen) to collect the bull for the curros.

    Awards – The Race Director decides whether or not to reward the horsemam and the forcado with the return to the arena. To authorize the return of the horseman should show a white handkerchief. To allow the return of the forcado shows a brown scarf. In case the bull behaves exceptionally, the Race Director may still show a blue handkerchief, giving the cattleman permission to return to the arena.

    These steps are repeated in the lead of each of the six bulls of the race, excluding the courtesies that only take place at the beginning of the race.