Reportage : Cowboy Land Casanare, Colombia - 2014

With a size that is just a little bigger than the Netherlands, the flatland Casanare Department has less than one million inhabitants. This is the Wild West of Colombia, with cowboys riding around the steppes of the South American country. El Llano, which is what the Colombians call the flatlands, has its own very special culture. It is rich in music and myth. Perhaps, the boundless vastness converted the inhabitants into poets. Traditionally, people here have small open houses nearly without walls; they just sleep in hammocks, covered by a mosquito net. The average temperature of 28°C over the whole year is perfect for the little insects.
The cowboys of Casanare produce meat for all of Colombia. This meat is famous for its quality and quantity.
Casanare is inhabited by more cows than people.
Traditionally, Casanare is the stronghold of cowboys and ranching.
Los llanos-the lowlands-is how the Colombians refer to the Casanare Department and the other departments. To the north of the Amazon Basin, it is hot and flat, but with less vegetation.
A cowboy.
The lifestyle here is different and the stressful world stays out most of the time.
A coffee seller in a central place in Yopal, the capital of Casanare.
La musica llanera - The lowlands music is traditionally played with harps, ukuleles, and rattles.
Cowboys and horses are deeply connected through llanero culture. There is a lot handicraft, myth, and songs about traditional life here.
Caimans were widely seen in Casanare, but presently, they have been nearly exterminated. Here is one huge example from a breeder.
Every member of the community is supposed to slaughter a cow from time to time - and the neighbors come and take their part. The meat stays fresh even without cooling.
There is no day in Casanare without the consumption of meat. For lunch, they barbecue whole parts of the cow on open fires.
A cowboy.
In the remote areas of Casanare indigenous people still live in protected areas. A woman prepares the traditional indigenous food "Casabe". It is like a pancake made of yucca flour, which is baked on a wooden stove.
Although they live in modern times, the cowboys still work with traditional techniques as they work best. To mark a young bull, the cowboy catches him with a lasso.
The cowboys help each other-to work the cows, lots of people are needed.
After the cows are marked, the cowboys leave them to walk their ways, leaving them in relative freedom in the vastness of Casanare.
Coleo is the local sport where two cowboys have to grab the tail of a bull and pull it until the animal falls down.
Every weekend there are competitions. Most of the riders are men, but women's participation is growing.
Every time the animal falls and rolls, the rider gets points - and the rider with the highest points wins. The rules are easy but the game is it not. For the bulls, the game is cruel as they injure themselves frequently; often, they break their legs
Moment during a Coleo game.
A cowboy.
The lifestyle of cowboys is changing as modern lifestyle is slowly arriving.
Casanare is famous for its sunsets.

This is the end, my friend ...

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