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Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance

Puerto Rican Tradition - Peleas de Gallos
by Dr. Tekina-eiru Maynard (2008)

Peleas de Gallos (cock fights) have their place in Puerto Rican folklore, and are still a popular sport in Puerto Rico today. Brought to the Island by Spanish immigrants in the 16th century, Peleas de Gallos were declared a sport by the spanish governor Miguel de Muesas in 1770. Considered a "sport of gentlemen," where all bets are honored, Peleas de Gallos enjoyed some history as an underground event after the 1898 American invasion prohibited the sport. Senator Rafael Martinez-Nadal, third president of the Senate of Puerto Rico, and known as the father of cock's law, legalized the games once again in 1933. The 10th biggest industry on the island when it comes to revenues, there are approximately 120 galleras (fighting pits) in Puerto Rico still today, the oldest one in the Caribbean located in Vega Alta where a cock festival is celebrated every October with kiosks, crafts, a dominoes tournament, and a talent show.

  • The Puerto Rican Bloodsport: A Look At Cock Fights On The Island, Brenda A. Mari, Puerto Rico Herald, April 8, 2005
  • Cock fights in Puerto Rico, a little bit of history, Photos of Puerto Rico.com.

    For more information:
    Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
    Puerto Rican Cultural Center
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