The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
June 2016 issue
Los Agarradores
by Miguel Proença
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
‘Los Agarradores’ is a story about a tradition that has been celebrated for hundreds of years in the mountains of Galicia. With warrior shouts, local male villagers force horses down from the mountains and into the valleys below. These images document the wild confrontation; where the human body becomes blurred with the horse. Exhausted villagers lie on the ground, clinging to their beasts as if they were trophies, continuing a tradition that is in their blood.
Wild horses near Sabucedo, Spain. Every year locals from nearby villages go up on the mountains to dominate the horses which are brought down and taken across the town to the “Curro” where their manes are trimmed by the fighters. “Rapa das Bestas” takes place in Galicia during the summer of each year and is a centennial tradition that's in people’s blood, a way of understanding life in communion with the horses.
In the mountains the horses are encircled and brought down across the city using corridors formed by people who are participating in the celebration. Sabucedo, Spain.
Curro in Amil-Moranã, Spain. During the celebration ponies are separated from the horses and later sold for a few hundred euros each.
The participants are confronted with horses, as equals, without ropes or poles, to immobilise them and cut their manes.  Amil-Moranã in Galicia, Spain.
During the summer, many villages in Galicia celebrate the 'Rapa das Bestas' feast. Sabucedo is one of the best known places and the celebration which attracts most people. The “curro” (enclosure where the horses are kept) was constructed in stone like an ancient coliseum. Sabucedo, Spain.
The participants confront the horses, as equals, without ropes or poles. Amil-Moranã in Galicia, Spain.
The participants cut the horses’ manes and sometimes brand them. Many men don’t finish the celebrations because of injuries incurred during the confrontation. Amil-Moranã in Galicia, Spain.
After the horses have their manes cut and are branded, they are kept in the ‘curro’ until the end of the celebrations when they are taken back to the mountains and freed.  Amil-Moranã in Galicia, Spain.
Many of the participants (los agarradores) feel exhausted after conquering dozens of horses during the celebrations. Pobra do Caramniñal, Spain.
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