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Bullfighting

matador daring

Bullfighting, Spanish national sport and spectacle, also popular in Latin America. Probably developed by the Moors, it was taken over by aristocratic professionals in the 18th century. The modern bullfight stresses the grace, skill, and daring of the matador. After a procession, the bull is released. Two mounted picadors jab the bull's neck with lances to lower its head for the matador's capework. Then three banderilleros thrust decorated wooden goads into the bull's back. The matador, after using his cape to make daring and graceful passes at the bull, kills it with a swordthrust between the shoulders. In Portugal, the matador is on horseback and does not kill the bull.

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