Written by 17:43 What is Bullfighting?

The taurine parade

el paseillo taurino -explicación qué es una corrida de toros

El Paseíllo

Space and time go hand in hand in the paseíllo. Centuries of bullfighting history and a tradition intact in its essence. 

A spatially educated, ordered and hierarchical beginning, a start of dramatic ceremony, a ritual presentation or the dawn of the Art of bullfighting.

Formerly the fight was held in public squares. It was the army troops who were in charge of carrying out the work of human vacating the land, the “cleared”. It happened not without problems and public altercations that could even surpass the work of a right-hander in fame. After the “clearing” of the square, the paseíllo as we know it today was born.


el paseillo taurino los picadores

The president gives the approval with his white handkerchief. Trumpets and drums sound. Everything stops. The arena is empty. Time pauses for just a second before the “paseíllo” begins. The air above the sand is filled with feelings and sensations, anxieties and yearnings, fears and exclamations, passes and stillness. Bullfighting is born when Space is hierarchized with the “paseíllo.” Leading the way are the bailiffs dressed in black, reminiscent of Felipe IV’s era. Mounted on their horses, they represent the ancient “clearance” and perform the task of receiving the keys to the bullpens and handing them over to the bullkeeper to begin the bullfight.

First on foot are the bullfighters arranged by seniority and alternation; the most senior on the right, the second most senior on the left, and the center occupied by the bullfighter with the fewest “paseíllos” performed. The bullfighters advance towards the awaited afternoon, rookies in the arena holding their hats in hand, while the veterans have their hats already placed. They are followed by their respective crews; the “toreros de plata” (assistant bullfighters) who, following the master, arrange themselves in order of seniority. Behind them, the picadors or lance-bearers mounted on their Percheron horses, also following the same order, based on the seniority of the bullfighters and their own. Finally, the “monosabios” (helpers), named after a troupe of puppeteers back in 1847, the sandmen, and the drag team with mules adorned with ribbons and bells.

paseíllo taurino Maestranza

Hierarchy by command order. Respect in silence and clean order. Centuries-old history. Virtues geometrically arranged in a brave and imaginary rectangle in motion, ready to unfold and throw the capes into the air.


Gonzalo ortigosa yoldi


Gonzalo Ortigosa Yoldi
Cultural Manager

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Last modified: 25 February, 2024
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