• Add to Collection
  • About


    Photo essay of the Colliseo Gallistico in Santo Domingo, Dominican Repulic.
Colliceo Gallistico
While in Santo Domingo last fall I photographed cock fights at the Coliceo Gallistico Santo Domingo.

I expected a dirty hole in the wall, but the Coliceo was a high end venue. There was a dress code and the seats were plush, with alcohol and food (including chicken). Overall it wasn't unlike a nice hockey arena in Canada, just on a smaller scale and, not surprisingly, completely void of women.

Betting is not with the house. Instead, you bet with individuals around you or across the ring in a fairly informal process on individual bouts. I watched a fair amount of cash exchange hands.

I was surprised (and happy) to learn that the cocks don't fight to the death. Each fight is timed and if a cock goes down then its owner can throw in the towel and the cock is removed from the ring. A prized cock might lose a bout but can live to fight another day. Still, it's a pretty brutal sport.

It was bloody and difficult to stomach but it certainly was a cultural experience.