Why Matadors wear Red Capes?


From fiction stories, fairytales to reality, it is always believed that a bull will run after a flapping cape of red fabric. But haven’t you ever wondered why does this beast hate the colour red so much? Let’s find out the reality behind this concoction.

Bulls are Color Blind

Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but bulls, like any other cattle, are colour blind. That means they can’t differentiate between colours. So whether the matador is using a red cape (mutela), green or even white, it won’t make a difference for our beast. But then why the sudden anger? The next point answers that.

Bulls charge at the sight of movement

No, the bulls don’t get angry due to the red mutela; instead, it’s the movement of the cape that irritates them. The bulls used in bullfighting are from a very aggressive breed. They are trained to charge at the sight of a moving object. Hence, when the matador flutters the cape in front of the bull, it charges towards him with full force. Now, if it’s the movement that ignites anger in the beast, why choose red mutela in particular? Read the next point.

Red Mutela is used to hide bloodstains

A matador has a good but gruesome reason to choose this particular colour. In fact, the red mutela is only used in the final 3rd stage of the bullfight. Matador uses it to hide the sword. The colour red is chosen to hide the bloodstains of the bull as the matador fends it.

So next time you see a bull chasing after red fabric, remember that it’s due to the movement of the fabric. It has nothing to do with the colour of the fabric.

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