Casteller | By Mike Randolph

This uniquely Catalan tradition requires astonishing strength, finesse, and balance. Not to mention courage.

We present this wonderful work of art that was produced by Mike Randolph, a writer, photographer and video producer living in Spain.  Randolph documents a wonderful Catalan tradition in the city of Tarragona, Spain, when castellers gather and build fantastically beautiful human towers called castells.  Teams of women and men stand on each other’s shoulders in order to build a human tower.  A small boy or girl, named the exaneta, climb on to the tops of the human tower.  The human tower is complete when the child raises his or her hand to the sky.

There are a couple of points to watch for.  First, the pinya, the men who create the base of the castell, give the castellers their strength.  As you will see, the pinya are the safety net.  They take the brunt of the weight should the castell topple.

Second, the castellers do not construct the castell without organization.  Watch how they build the castell, the dependency on one another, and the teamwork required to complete the castell.

Third, the castellers’ costumes are individually beautiful, but together, the sea of color is fantastic.  The costumes consist of trousers, a bandana and colored shirt.  A sash is worn and they climb barefoot.

We appreciate the information provided by the author of this article which was used as part of our research.

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