Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Bull Fight In Peru

New York, 1895

American gentlemen with British tastes, who, in default of a fox, know how to amuse themselves by chasing an aniseed bag, ought to enjoy a French traveler's account of a bull fight as witnessed in Peru.

It is impossible to describe the poverty of the country, he says, speaking of the shores of Lake Titicaca. The people lank everything, including honesty. At Ancoraimes I saw a bull fight of a new sort. The unhappy people have no large cattle, and so, of course, a bull is never seen in the town, but in South America bull fights are a necessity, and the Ancoraimes Indians find a way out of the difficulty.

At Puno they buy some heads of oxen or cows, with the skins and horns, and dry them in the sun. Then on fete days some of the men attach those heads to their belts and rig themselves out in the most fantastic manner possible. They represent the bulls. Other Indians get themselves up as matadors, and than there is a grand bull fight on the plaza.

The matadors strike with their swords, the bulls butt with their horns, the crowd laughs and applauds, and in the evening there is a feast at the expense of the vanquished party. — Youth's Companion.

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