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.

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Motion picture recording plus multiple observers would probably be necessary to deal with it effectively. Balineze cannot ascend the status ladder by winning cockfights; you cannot, as an individual, really ascend it at all.

He gives you the typical, recurring, or what Aristotle calls universal bslinese. During the s, commentaries on the Balinese cockfight essay have become quite common, developing, for the most part, in apparent independence…. Most of the fights are in fact organized and sponsored by small combines of petty rural nootes under the general premise, very strongly held by them bapinese indeed by all Balinese, that cockfights are good for trade because “they get money out of the house, they make it circulate.

It is not, as Pla have said, of no importance; Balinese are no happier to lose several weeks’ income than anyone else. What sets the cockfight apart from the ordinary course of life, lifts it from the realm of everyday practical affairs, and surrounds it with an aura of enlarged importance is not, as functionalist sociology would have it, that it reinforces status discriminations such reinforcement is hardly necessary in a society where every cockfigut proclaims thembut that it provides a metasocial commentary upon the whole matter of assorting human beings into fixed hierarchical ranks and then organizing the major part of collective existence around that assortment.

For a fuller description of Balinese rural social structure, see C. A cultural figure against a social ground, the fight is at once a convulsive surge of animal hatred, a mock war of symbolical selves, and a formal simulation of status tensions, and its aesthetic power derives from its capacity to force together these diverse realities. All this coupling of the occidental great with the oriental lowly will doubtless disturb certain sorts cf aestheticians as the earlier efforts of anthropologists to speak of Christianity and totemism in hhe same breath disturbed certain sorts of theologians.

On Hogarth, and on this whole problem–there called “multiple matrix matching”–see E.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

Myth, symbol, and culture. The man who wants the underdog cock shouts the short-side number indicating the odds he wants to be given.

The problem is to learn how to read them, not to decipher something else going balinesd behind the scenes. Cockfights were generally illegal in Indonesia when Geertz was doing his fieldwork there in the s. About half-way down another fugitive ducked suddenly into a compound-his own, it turned out-and we, seeing nothing seep of us but rice fields, open country, and a very high volcano, followed him.

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The tag is from the second book of the Organon, On Interpretation.

We moved into an extended family compound that had been arranged before through the provincial government belonging to one of the four major factions in village life. The fact that these departures though real are not extreme merely indicates, again, that even in the smaller fights the tendency to match cocks at least reasonably evenly persists. But only in the cockfight are the sentiments upon which that hierarchy rests revealed in their natural colors.

In Taiwan, when Ruth and I were doing fieldwork inthe first thing we did when arriving in Puli was report to the foreign affairs policeman who seemed, in fact, a very pleasant person…but anyway. We were American professors; the government had cleared us; we were there to study culture; we were going to write a book to tell Americans about Bali.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

What the cockfight says it says in a vocabulary of sentiment–the thrill of risk, the despair of loss, the pleasure of triumph. Sennett — The Craftsman in links, no particular order. If he is certain in his mind that it will not win, he may baliese not bet at all, particularly if it is only a second cousin’s bird or if the fight is a shallow one.

Every people, the cockvight has it, loves its own form of violence.

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

And as to follow Weber rather than Bentham the imposition of meaning on life is the major end and primary condition of human existence, that access of significance more than compensates for the economic costs involved. Garage Library is closed from December 30 to January 6. The old man then asks to pass the night with the hero, which the hero gladly invites him to do.

Men go on allegorically humiliating one another and being allegorically humiliated by one another, day after day, glorying quietly in the experience if they have triumphed, crushed only slightly more openly by it if they have not.

In genuine deep play, this is the case for both parties. Its function, if you want to call it that, is interpretive: Thus spared, he returned to dispatch the upstarts, regain the throne, reconstitute the Balinese high tradition, and build its most powerful, glorious, and prosperous state.

This connection of cockfighting with markets notse market sellers is very old, as, among other things, their conjunction in inscriptions [ R. These rules, together with the developed lore of cocks and cockfighting which accompanies them, are written down in palm leaf manuscripts lontar; rontal passed on from generation to generation as part of the general legal and cultural tradition of the villages. They take their form from the situation that evokes them, the floor on which they are placed, as Goffman puts it; but it is a form, and an articulate one, nonetheless.

And though to a Benthamite this might seem merely to increase the irrationality nptes the enterprise that much further, to the Balinese what it mainly increases is the meaningfulness of it all. Bali has a three-day market week with the familiar “solar-system”-type rotation. A desperate man who makes a last, irrational effort to extricate himself from an impossible situation is likened to a dying cock who makes blinese final lunge at his tormentor to drag him along to a common destruction.

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Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

The next morning the village was a completely different world for us. Incest, though hardly approved, is a much less horrifying crime than bestiality. Geertz also notes that the higher the status of the participants in the cockfight, the deeper the cockfight is, and the deeper it the more a person identifies with his cock and the more the financial aspect of gambling associated with the fight is marginal plah comparison with the symbolic aspects notse it.

Balinese Cockfights and the Seduction of Anthropology. But the poet [as opposed to the historian]. In cockfigght 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.

They are bathed in the same ceremonial preparation of tepid water, medicinal herbs, flowers, and onions in which infants are bathed, and for a prize cock just about as often. Or, if you take the extremes, for very large fights, those with center bets over a hundred ringgits the ratio is 1 to 1 seven and seven ; for very small fights, those under forty ringgits, it is 1.

Drawing on almost every level of Balinese experience, it brings together themes–animal savagery, male narcissism, opponent gambling, status rivalry, mass excitement, blood sacrifice–whose main connection is their involvement with rage and the fear of rage, and, binding them into a set of rules which at once contains them and allows them play, builds a symbolic structure in which, over and over again, the reality of their inner affiliation can be intelligibly felt.

When he talks about culture as text, the text is fully material, like words printed in a book. Views Read Edit View history. If your kin group is not involved you will support an allied kingroup against an unallied one in the same way, and so on through the very involved networks of alliances which, as I say, make up this, as any other, Balinese village.

Hooykaas, Agama Tirtha Amsterdam,p.

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Balinese men, or anyway a large majority of Balinese men, spend an enormous amount of time with their favorites, grooming them, feeding them, discussing them, trying them out against one another, or just gazing at them with a mixture of rapt admiration and dreamy self-absorption.

The cocks die from the food given them, the owner’s sanity is restored, the goddess brings the girl back to the father, who reunites him with his wife.