sábado, 11 de julho de 2009

Joel Moedas Miguel ~ Historian

[ Bullfighting had appeared in Portugal in the beginning of nationality as a sport to men and horses’ physical and mental preparation to the war, as it happened with hunting and joust. Even if it was a mere training, the technique developed was so beautiful that quickly led to an Art, the Art of Horse Ridding Bullfight, one of the most emblematic Portuguese traditions where the wild animal, the bull, and the Lusitano horse with its unique learning capability interact by the will of Man.
The Portuguese cavalry soon started to develop this art which in its early days, even with a different configuration, was linked with the Roman occupation. The participation of the Royal Family on the bullfights is, therefore, an ancient tradition, as a participant or more and more as a spectator, because in times of peace the bullfight evolved to become an exhibition celebrating important national events, like the one held on 1387 for the occasion of the marriage of King Dom João I and Dona Filipa de Lencastre.
Bullfighting becomes a war allegory in times of peace. A war without enemies, only the will to self-overrun of its participants. In this national sport, as it was called by Eça de Queiroz, there are no teams. The entire arena, the whole society society, all social classes joined the Royal Family wishing that every horseman does well, that every “pega” is successful. Everybody joined in a wishful state of mind and watched an art that celebrated the life of each and every one of them, being up to the difficulties of facing a bull, either on horse or on foot, as they face life's obstacles, solving and overcoming them the best way possible. And the celebration of a job well done, when a javelin is perfectly stabbed or when the bull is subdued in a successful “pega”. In recent history the example of Bullfighter King Dom Miguel and the enthusiasm of the King Dom Carlos left a permanent mark in bullfighting and in the national collective conscience because of the commitment of those who always wanted to serve Portugal.
The painter Maria Sobral Mendonça committed to her art like a horseman commits to a horse ridding bullfight, like a “forcado” embraces the bull, like a King devotes himself to his people, knowing that despite the difficulties, a good work made with determination, always triumphs! ]
Joel Moedas Miguel