Written by 13:00 Curiosities, What is Bullfighting?

The ‘cuadrilla: the subalterns

The ones who join the bullfighter: the subalterns


The subalterns

They receive different names: ‘banderilleros’, silver bullfighters (by the usual thread of their dresses) or ‘peones’. His work tool is the ‘capote’ or his own body if it is required to put the bullfighter safe. They must have a deep knowledge of the bullfight and the bull’s land within the bullring to place, run or change the site as necessary. They are, therefore, the guardian angels of the bullfighters, since they help and advise them so that the bullfighter can express his art in the best possible way.

Of the three ‘banderilleros’ that a bullfighter has, usually two of them put ‘banderillas’ in one bull and the other ‘lidia’ with the ‘capote’ (they take turns), while the third ‘banderillea’ (puts ‘bandeerillas’ both and usually is also the ‘puntillero’ (who carries a small knife called ‘puntilla’, to end up killing the bull once is laid.

The ‘cuadrilla’ (gang)

In a ‘corrida’ or normal bullfight (three bullfighters and six bulls), each one of the bullfighters has two picadors and three ‘banderilleros’.

In one hand to hand (two bullfighters), they have three picadores and four ‘banderilleros’ each one.

And in a solitary bullfight (only one bullfighter with six bulls), he is accompanied by two ‘cuadrillas’ plus his own one.

The ‘mozo de espadas’ (swordsman) and the ‘ayuda’ (help)

They are probably the most unknown figures of the ‘cuadrilla’, but because of their lack of protagonism and not because of their importance. The swordsman is the person who gives his confidence, support and unconditional devotion to his bullfighter. He is in charge of helping him dressing and organize the necessary logistics for each trip. He assists him during the development of the bullfight from the ‘callejón’ providing him with all the supplies he needs (‘capote’, ‘muleta’, ‘montera’, sword, ‘descabello’ …).

The ‘ayuda’ (help) of the swordsman is his right hand and he is in charge of transporting, preparing and cleaning tackle; to attend to each member of the ‘cuadrilla’ in what theye might need; control and review the details of the trips… Figure absolutely essential.

Have a nice and ‘taurina’week!


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