Once a year a small 150 person village called Casabindo high up in the Argentine Andes hosts a bullfight unlike any other. Every year in celebration of the Patron Saint’s Day of Our Lady of the Ascension, a competition is held to try and snatch a ribbon with silver coins off a bull’s horns. Unlike Spanish bullfighting this sport is considered bloodless, at least for the bull, because no weapons are used. One Canadian tourist who was attending felt that the villagers should be able to preserve their culture because the treatment of the bulls is humane. Canadian tourist “To me, it represents a pastime for a lot of people from this zone, and I think their custom should be preserved, and people should keep on fighting the bulls this way, it’s humane and everyone seems to enjoy it.” The custom was started 520 years ago when the first wave of Spanish colonialists came to Casabindo and tried to force the aboriginals to give up their religion. Taking the ribbon back represents the people regaining control over their rights. The competition has no pay off, and those who manage to secure the red ribbons from the bulls horns customarily offer them to the Virgin Mary. This year, 23 bullfighters took part in the competition.
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