Site Loader

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. Clifford Geertz. The Raid. Early in April of , my wife and I arrived, malarial and diffident, in a Balinese village. “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” is one of Clifford Geertz’s most influential articles which illustrates not only the meaning of a given. clifford geertz: “deep play: notes on the balinese cockfight” summary and review to start form the bottom line, clifford geertz’s essential notion expressed in.

Author: Dokazahn Vudojas
Country: Gambia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Environment
Published (Last): 17 June 2014
Pages: 160
PDF File Size: 18.25 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.17 Mb
ISBN: 220-3-11834-169-3
Downloads: 94541
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Voodooktilar

The idea of culture as a set of symbols that we share back and forth seems almost custom-designed to avoid the kinds of political economic analysis Rola and myself would like to see. All this is again recorded in palm-leaf manuscripts and endlessly discussed by the Balinese who do not all have identical systemsand a full-scale componentialcum-symbolic analysis of cock classifications would be extremely valuable both as an adjunct to the description of the cockfight and in itself.

Sennett — The Craftsman in links, no particular order. With bets fairly even in the case of a deep fights, financial gain is not the center of the event, but rather everything which is expressed in the concept of “status”. They did not believe him and fined him three hundred rupiah, which the village raised collectively. On cockfighting more generally, see A. And in Wales, the so-called Welsh main followed an elimination pattern, along the lines of a present-day tennis tournament, winners proceeding to the next round.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Brooke Drover on Prezi

First, there is a simple withdrawal of interest as people wander off to have a cup of coffee or chat with a friend.

The fingers indicate the multiples of the stated bet odds at issue, not absolute figures. The cocks may be surrogates for their owners’ personalities, animal mirrors of psychic form, but the cockfight is–or more exactly, deliberately is made to be–a simulation of the social matrix, the involved system of crosscutting, overlapping, highly corporate groups–villages, kingroups, irrigation societies, temple congregations, “castes”–in which its devotees live.

Just which of these considerations leads to which, in what order, and by what mechanisms, is another matter–one I have attempted to shed some light on in the general discussion.

The higher the center bet, the more likely the match will in actual fact be an even one. To expose it, however, it is necessary to turn to the aspect of cockfighting around which all the others pivot, and through which they exercise their force, an aspect I have thus far studiously ignored.

About half-way down another fugitive ducked suddenly into a compound-his own, it turned out-and we, seeing nothing ahead of us but rice fields, open country, and a very high volcano, followed him. The fights both represent and take part in forming the social and cultural structure of the Balinese people which are dramatized through the cockfight.

Finally, the Balinese peasants themselves are quite aware of all this and can and, at least to an ethnographer, do state most of it in approximately the same terms as I have. It channels aggression and rivalry into an indirect symbolic sphere of engagement.


See above, Chapter The spurs affixed, the two cocks are placed by their handlers who may or may not be their owners facing one another in the center of the ring. The ceremony consecrating a Brahmana priest, a matter of breath control, postural immobility, and vacant concentration upon the depths of being, displays a radically different, but to the Balinese equally real, property of social hierarchy–its reach toward the numinous transcendent.

But a detailed understanding of the whole process awaits what, alas, it is not very likely ever to get: He gives you the typical, recurring, or what Aristotle calls universal event.

As noted earlier, at most cockfights there are, around the very edges of the cockfight area, a large number of mindless, sheer-chance type gambling games roulette, dice throw, coin-spin, pea-under-the-shell operated by concessionaires.

Yet, because–in another of those paradoxes, along with painted feelings and coc,fight acts, which haunt aesthetics–that subjectivity does not property exist until it is thus organized, art forms generate and regenerate the very subjectivity they pretend only to display. Jaya Prana, the subject of a Balinese Uriah myth, responds to the lord who has offered him the loveliest of six hundred servant girls: Next, there are those who fight fhe in small, or occasionally medium matches, but have not the status to join in the large ones, though nots may bet from time to time on the side in those.

For Bentham and those who think as he does nowadays mainly lawyers, economists, and a few psychiatriststhe explanation is, as I have said, that such men are irrational–addicts, fetishists, children, fools, savages, who need only to be protected against themselves.

In the case of the Balinese cockfight, a deep fight is one in which results are unpredictable, the odds are more even and the bets are more balanced. The precise dynamics of the movement of the betting is one of the most intriguing, most complicated, and, given the hectic conditions under which it occurs, most difficult to study, aspects of the fight.

A desperate man who makes a last, irrational effort to extricate himself from an impossible situation is likened to a dying cock who makes one final lunge at his tormentor to drag him along to a common destruction. The experience of hiding from the police in the courtyard of a local couple allowed Geertz to break the tension between himself and the villagers, and perform all of the interviews and observation which make up The Interpretation of Cultures.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

I suppose Geertz would admit that the interpretive process is heavily determined by all sort of outside factors, but he rarely makes this a factor in his writing. For codkfight of ethnographic completeness, it should be noted that it is possible for the man backing the favorite–the odds-giver–to make a bet in which he wins if his cock wins or there is a tie, a slight shortening of the odds I do not have enough cases to be exact, but ties seem to occur about once every fifteen or twenty matches.

In time, the hero decides to visit his son and collect the promised cock. Author Clifford Geertz — was an American anthropologist and sociologist, who wrote extensively on traditional cultures and religions in Southeast Asia and North America. Or, more exactly, he forms and discovers a particular facet of them. When he arrives at edep cockfight, he is asked for an entry fee and replies, “I have no money; I will pay after my cock has won.


For them, and to a degree for ourselves, we were nonpersons, specters, invisible men.

Savage Minds

If we see ourselves as a pack of Micawbers, it is from reading too much Dickens if we see ourselves as unillusioned realists, it is from reading too little ; and similarly for Ddep, cocks, and cockfights. Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: Most British fights were “mains,” in which a preagreed number of cocks were aligned into two teams and fought serially.

What is a fair coin in dee; center is a biased one on the side.

The taker tries to shout the giver into longer odds, the giver to shout the taker into shorter ones. Early in April ofmy wife and I arrived, malarial and diffident, in a Balinese village we intended, as anthropologists, to study. What the cockfight says it says in a vocabulary of sentiment–the thrill of risk, the despair of loss, the pleasure of triumph.

But such terminological problems are in any cast secondary to the essential balineee In deep cockfights an owner and his collaborators, and, as we shall see, to a lesser but still quite real extent also their backers on the outside, put their money where their status is.

The focusing element in these focused gatherings, these men generally dominate and define the sport as they dominate and define the society. Gambling dep, which can get quite large on a rather short-term basis, are always to friends, never to enemies, structurally speaking. The Hague,index under toh.

Inverse arguments hold for the shallower the fight, culminating, in a reversed-signs sense, in the coin-spinning and dice-throwing amusements. And that famous holiday in Bali, The Day of Silence Njepiwhen everyone sits silent and immobile all day long in order to avoid contact with a sudden influx of demons chased momentarily out of hell, is preceded the previous day by large-scale cockfights in this case legal in almost every village on the island.

Language of Art, pp. People drift away from him, look cockfght him, leave him to assimilate his momentary descent into nonbeing, reset his face, and return, scarless cockfigjt intact, to the fray. The use of the, to Europeans, “natural” visual idiom for perception–“see,” “watches,” and so forth–is more than usually misleading here, for the fact that, as mentioned earlier, Balinese follow the progress of the fight as much perhaps, as fighting cocks are actually rather hard to see except as blurs of motion, more with their bodies as with their eyes, moving their limbs, blainese, and trunks in gestural mimicry of plau cocks’ maneuvers, means that much of the individual’s experience of the fight is kinesthetic rather than visual.