The show is on. The cages have been lifted, and the cocks have been provoked to get going.
During this Friday night, there were about seven fights. By applying some simple math, that sums up to 14 cocks. Seven of those died in the ring, or shortly after.
The longest fight lasted for some nine minutes. The cause seemed to be that both cocks were rather lazy, and not too keen on fighting. The shortest fight might have been as little as a minute or two. That cock won thru a knock-out, one could say.
Well, this is one of many pictures of Bogotá on a common Friday night. It’s a diverse city.
Moments before that the cockfight erupts… The judges, in red jackets, are taking care of the last preparations.
The cocks have arrived in their cages, being brougth in place over a miniature aerial cableway. Just before they were both trimmed, cutting of feathers that could trouble them while fighting.
In the ring the owners and some other important guys have gathered, while people are placing their bets. I didn’t really figure out how that works, but it’s for sure a lively process…
Cockfighting is popular in Colombia and much of South America.
In Bogotá there are said to be quite a few cockfight rings, but they are not always easy to find. My experience was that only those interested in this traditional game know about the places. However, most people have never seen a cockfight, and never thought of going to one. Maybe it’s different in the countryside?
On this pic you see the principal cockfight ring (gallera) of Bogotá – Gallera San Miguel. It’s just minutes before that the cruel show is going to start.
I got the impression that the proud bird owners were peasants coming in to town on this Friday night of late October. My friend and I arrived at 6.30 in the evening, paid the ticket, 13.000 pesos (some 4 euro) and then strolled around in the combined entrance hall and pub for some time, while waiting.
The room was filling up with spectators, with a few exceptions middle-aged and older men. One could feel expectation and tension in the air, as the somewhat nervous cocks were being put on the scales. Some 3 – 3,5 kg seems to be the weight for a good fighting cock.
Owners sat down at tables, using candle wax to attach the knives on the cock’s legs. Meanwhile, spectators were scrutinizing the birds in order to determine how to place their bets. Shortly after 7 the crowd of some 150 people entered the cockfight ring…