In today’s world you can find a festival for nearly everything. Food, music, movies and anything else you can imagine, even fighting.
Takanakuy is an annual festival Peru in which individuals engage in bare knuckle fights. There is dancing and drinking as well, but the main attraction is the fights.
The tradition is used to settle disputes between people and works on a call out system. If you have a dispute with someone you approach the center of the arena or fighting area and call them out by their first and last name. Both fighters wrap their hands in a cloth and proceed to fight. Kicking and punching is allowed, but no striking on the ground, biting or pulling hair.
One of the most interesting things is that there is a referee that carries a whip, yes a whip. He uses the whip to maintain order not only with the fight, but with the crowd. A bout is won by knockout or the referee deciding one fighter has had enough and he stops the fight. If a fighter disagrees with the result of their fight they can appeal for another fight.
In addition to just fighting, there is a dress factor to the festival. People dress up as character in traditional Andean culture.
Things tend to get out of control at times, but the referee’s with the whips step in and regain order. It is actually pretty impressive to see them work to corral the spectators and restore order.
Fighters are required to hug before and after the fight starts. Men, women, and children are all able to participate in the fights. Regardless of your age or the reason for the fight, when it is done everyone goes back to being friendly. They drink and celebrate together when it is all done.
Check out the videos below on Takanakuy and let us know what you think. Would you participate in this festival to settle a dispute?