16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
The Hero I
After the race, the winning jockey exults with the whip (sinew) used to strike his horse, among thrilled contradaioli who want to reach him to celebrate his victory.
They will carry their hero shoulder high, through the square to the Provenzano’s church.
All through the night the relentless drumming of gleaming drummers will echo around the city. Like drumming, the party will continue all night.
A real slice of city life manifests itself through a multitude of feelings as intense and diversified as anxiety, trepidation, anticipation, joy, fear and anger.
The winning contrada is the first to complete three laps of the track, covering roughly 1,000 meters in total. The race is incredibly brief, incredibly tense, and occasionally brutal. The real winner is always the horse, because even in the event that a riderless horse (darkly referred to as “shaken”) crosses the finish line first, that Contrada is still the victor.
© Luca Venturi.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 17, 2018, 6:42 p.m.