In the interest of procrastinating further on awardage, I give you PART TWO* of the Minoan Bull Dance post (click here if you missed part one)!
To recap briefly: Bull Dancing is way awesomer than the modern day Bull Fight, so what happened?
Well. First of all, Crete fell and the Minoan civilization, such as it was, collapsed. (Perhaps because Theseus slayed a Minotaur?) The long and the short of it is, we have no real idea or evidence for what happened. Mycenae seems to have conquered them, and then not long after that we have the Dark Ages where we know absolutely nothing about what went on outside of the oral history of Homer's epics.
Not that we really have a lot of information on Mycenaean Greece, either, outside of the palace life, but the major point of all this is that Bull Dancing did not make the LEAP to the mainland of Greece whereby it might have been preserved and passed on to common culture. There's some stylistic art representing it--Mycenae stole a lot of art from the Minoans--but no evidence that it ever took place within Greece itself.
Except the bull dance isn't really dead. Cow-Leaping (aka Course Landaise) is still practiced in modern day France, and Bull-Leaping (aka Recortes) takes place in parts of Spain (seriously, there's pole vaulting involved! and the bull totally survives to be leapt another day!). Wikipedia even suggests that there's a practice of bull leaping in India as well--though I highly doubt it descends at all from the Minoans.
There are a few clips of bull-leaping in France online. That link will take you to some really crazy guys who tie their legs together before jumping. I'm not kidding. I wish I were. But this is maybe my favorite youtube video-- it's about 5 minutes long, but has some great information.
So there you have it! The modern Bull Dance! With all due respect shown to the bulls involved!
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