Sunday, 7 May 2006
'LUCHA LEONESA' WRESTLING DEMONSTRATION ORGANIZED BY PABLO LEON DE LA BARRA AT MUSAC AS PART OF THE EXHIBITION 'GLOBOS SONDA'
Antonio Zaya, Pablo Leon de la Barra and Octavio Zaya wearing 'I Love Leon' tshirts by Funky Projects
Demonstration of Leones Wrestling
Leones Wrestling is an original sport of the province of León, Spain. It is fought
by two wrestlers, in similar form to the Canaries wrestling or the Japanese. The
wrestling takes place within a circle of about 15 meters of diameter. The fighters
must dress with short trousers and a t-shirt, they cannot use footwear.
Characteristically, they wear a leather belt of about 3 cm wide; this belt is placed
in the waist, over the hip, so that it can easily be taken hold by the adversary. The
objective is, by means of certain techniques denominated mañas, to make the
opponent touch the ground with any part of their back, with which the winner
obtains two points. If it touches the ground with the stomach or the arms, a point is
obtained. The first to obtain 4 points wins.
Lucha Leonesa is one of the oldest native sports that still persists in Spain. Its
origin is thought to be pre-Roman. It conserves a certain rural and primitive
flavour, which reminds of its origin. In the XIV century Leones Wrestling was
used in the Leones Mountains to solve border conflicts due to cattle grazing.
There is no cause that by itself can explain the conservation of the tradition of
Leones Wrestling. This might be due to topography and deficient communication
routes that prevented the relation of the area with the exterior; this social and
cultural isolation allowed that the ancestral customs and traditions remained virgin
during a long time. This united to the particular Leones way of life and the defense
of its roots and customs. The Leones character has always stayed very resistant to