Corrida del Gallo
The Corrida del Gallo, commonly known as the rooster race, is a tradition in the Pueblo cultures. It is widely practiced throughout New Mexico from Acoma to Cochiti Pueblos. This ritual usually takes place on ST. John’s Day, the 24th of June. There are two types of rooster races. The first is to conduct the chase on foot, but the other more common one is on horseback. The Gallo is a living rooster that is buried up to the neck in sand. The horsemen compete to see who can be the first to uproot the bird. Once the bird has been captured the winner speeds off while others try to grab the bird from him. The players then whack one another with the Gallo and its head is usually taken from the body in this act. The Natives believe that “like the holy water St. John used to baptize Jesus, the blood of the rooster is said to baptize the earth in this driest of seasons” (“In New Mexico, an Ancient Rite or Blood Sport”). Although bloody it is accepted in the tribes because the rooster has given its life to fertilize the earth.
The Corrida del Gallo tradition was brought by the Spanish hundreds of years ago along with the religion of Roman Catholicism. In the Roman Catholic tradition rooster pulls were held as activities on feast days to honor certain Catholic saints. Rooster pulls hold significant religious and cultural significance to pueblo cultures. This ritual is very important to the pueblo cultures as well as the Roman Catholic religion that this state was founded upon. The Corrida del Gallo is a tradition implanted deeply within the roots of New Mexico’s culture.
In conclusion, I feel that the tradition of the Corrida del Gallo should be continued in New Mexico. Although it is in a way animal cruelty it is a sacred ritual. With the freedom of religion come many other aspects that activists have t o understand. Rooster pulls is a vital contributor to the culture and spirit of these native tribes and they should not be forced...