Colombia: Cockfighting 1

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…

Anders

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