Category Archives: El Encierro (The Running of the Bulls)

The Running of the Bulls is an ancient, archetypal rite, a ritual embedded in our DNA, entwined with-in the collective unconscious. For the Navarrese in the Basque region of northern Spain it is a cultural and for some, a religious ritual. Its proper name, the Encierro (the enclosing) is a tradition which has been passed down through generations for hundreds of years, part of a fiesta whose origins run nearly two thousand years deep in the history of Man. This is not just a bit of fun for frat boys and pissed Aussie’s on a drunken lark. It is not senseless cruelty. It is a tradition steeped in ritual and mystery, part of a beautiful and unique culture which has somehow held on to its roots in the midst of this modern day of pop-culture fads, technology and video games.

Though this post is not about the bullfights I will say this, for many the bullfights are a sacred, ritual-sacrifice sometimes done in the honor of the Virgin Mary. I am not a follower of Christ but I would never try to keep a person from worshiping their god in their own chosen way. Matadors are killed each year. I have witnessed matadors get maimed for life by bulls and some who have returned after being stitched up to finish the fight. These are brave men following in a centuries-old tradition. For the outside world to go so far out of their way to put pressure on these people to halt their traditions is sickening. Bullfighting inspired many of the great artists of the past century, Lorca, Picasso, Hemingway, Goya, Orson Wells all were Aficionados. If bullfighting ever does end in Spain, it will be a great loss to humanity and the ranches which breed and raise these majestic, noble animals on their near free-range, paradisaical pastures will close, and the breed itself may go extinct.

Julen Madina Complete Interview

Translator and interpreter for this interview: Enid Maldonado On the final day of Fiesta 2011 legendary American runner Joe Distler invited me to the runner’s breakfast, (an immense honor). And who walks in but Julen Madina, the Michael Jordan of … Continue reading

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The 13th

Click here to listen to the podcast from this years run. I’m the runner in the Blue Stripes, many of my friends appear in this sequence I’ll get to that later.

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A Long Run

The purpose of the run is to help the herd get to its final destination in the holding pens at the back of the Plaza de Toros (the bull fight arena) making sure to never do anything that would distract … Continue reading

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