The matador (from Spanish matar: kill) is the central character of the bullfight. Torero and Chief of the cuadrilla, he is instructed to kill the bull.

Until the second half of the eighteenth century, the lancer is the main character of the bullfight, bullfighters on foot were held in subordinate roles. The importance of the role of the matador takes an increasing share under the influence of Costillares (1743-1800), to become central in the mid-nineteenth century.

Nowadays, he is assisted during and outside the bullfight by a man of confidence, the valet swords "(mozo de espadas). His career is managed by its proxy (apoderado).

The matador takes place primarily during the third act (tercio), called the faena, but its expanded responsibilities include:

* Passes hood (at the same time that its peones during the first act (tercio));
* Bring the bull to the horse (at the tercio of spades);
* Passes muleta (at the faena);
* The killing by estocade and possibly descabello.

The matador can also ask the banderillas alongside its peones if it so decides, but it is a task that in general it gives them.

The draw (sorteo), determines the bulls allocated to each matador. The latter will delegate a representative, but once determined the lot of all, they are the ones who decide the order of exit of two bulls allocated to them.

At the opening parade (paseo), after the passage of alguazils, the three matadors come to the forefront, dressed in their habit of light and wearing a hood of a paseo left shoulder. They are ranked in order of seniority: left (in the direction of travel) the oldest (the head of Lidia), right the second in seniority, amid the less old. If a bullfighter is for the first time in the plaza, "he advance bare head, if he is wearing the traditional hat," mount ".

Generally, the fight between six bulls to three matadors. Each fighter matador therefore two bulls: the matador's oldest combat the first and fourth, the second in order of seniority fights the second and fifth, the youngest combat the third and sixth.

In the case of mano a mano, only two matadors face six bulls, three each. In the exceptional case where one of them is injured by a bull is one that confronts the remaining animals. Nimeño II and fought a six bulls to the arena of Nimes on May 14, 1989, on cogida Victor Mendes at the beginning of the show.

At the entrance to the bull, the matador may choose to wait "a porta gayola", ie one and kneeling in front of the door toril.

In the first act, the matador and his peones conduct passes hood. This phase allows the matador to assess the behaviour of bull: peones call this last alternately attracted to and different points of the arena, the incentive to go after him, while the matador regards. Then the matador makes himself a few passes hood, to complete its study.

During the second act, banderillas are raised by peones, called for the occasion banderilleros. The matador can choose, in a gesture of brightness, to make himself suerte, the sound of the orchestra, it is particularly good at discipline. This is known as matador banderillero. "

The third act, the faena, is the point of the fight, paving the bull to death. The faena is the work of the matador on foot, which he leads with the muleta, luring a red cloth through which it carries out a series of passes muleta. At that time, the faena of muleta was limited to four or five passes. Today, the matador who would so little trigger a huge bronca. The matador enters the faena by estocade, mortal blow dealt to the bull.

Sometimes, after estocade, the bull is slow to collapse. The matador must then make a "descabello" he plant a sword Force (verdugo) between the base of the skull and the beginning of the spine, the same place from where the crash puntillero its puntilla.

The quality of the faena and the estocade determine the assessment of the public and the president, who may grant depending on the circumstances a trophy: one or both ears or both ears and tail of the bull. The matador ovationné will lap welcoming his audience (vuelta), may even leave the arena has hombros, ie on the shoulders of admirers. In case of negative judgement on the contrary, it will leave without a trophy ruedo under the huées (bronca) or worse, in silence.

The matador begins with a learning phase in toréant young bulls younger than three years (becerros) during novilladas without lancer. If the talent, courage and luck are there, after a number of novilladas without lancer, it may present itself as novillero to fight bulls three to four years (novillos) during novilladas.

Finally, it will take the alternative in a race where, under the sponsorship of a matador and in the presence of a witness, he will obtain the right to fight bulls over four years.


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