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. 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. “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.

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Sennett — The Craftsman in links, no particular order.

Korn, Het Adatrecht van Bali, 2d ed. In genuine deep play, this is the case for both parties. It was the turning point so far as our relationship to the community was concerned, and we were quite literally “in. Not only was he there, but he was embraced by the members of the society who loved his clumsy ways.

The Balinese revulsion against any behavior as animal-like can hardly be overstressed. Even the Brahmana priest, an old, grave, half-way-to-Heaven type who because of its associations with the plya would never be involved, even distantly, in a cockfight, and was difficult to approach even to other Balinese, had us called into his courtyard to ask us about what had happened, chuckling happily at the sheer extraordinariness of it all. Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low wages of both gambling and prestige.

In the first place, there are two sorts of bets, or toh. If we see ourselves as a pack of Micawbers, it is from reading pllay much Dickens if we see ourselves as unillusioned realists, it is from reading too little ; and similarly for Balinese, cocks, and cockfights. Surrounding all this melodrama–which the crowd packed tight around the ring follows in near silence, moving their cockright in kinesthetic sympathy with the movement of the animals, cheering their champions on with wordless hand motions, shiftings of the shoulders, turnings of the head, falling back en masse as the cock with the murderous spurs careens toward one side of poay ring it cockfighh said that spectators sometimes lose eyes and fingers from being too attentive balinesw, surging forward again as they glance cockfigbt toward another–is a vast body of extraordinarily elaborate and precisely detailed rules.

The first cockfight that he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. Bandung, ] indicates. Whether the owner handles his own cock or not more or less depends on dep skilled he is at it, a consideration whose importance is again relative to the importance of the fight.

The only place power comes into play in this formulation is in who has access to particular symbols. Attending cockfights and participating in them is, for the Balinese, a kind of sentimental education. The extremes to which this madness is conceived on occasion to go–and the fact that it is considered madness–is demonstrated by the Balinese folk tale I Tuhung Kuning.


Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight – Wikipedia

To call the wind a cripple, as Stevens does, to fix tone and manipulate timbre, as Schoenberg does, or, closer to our case, to picture an art critic as a dissolute bear, as Hogarth does, is to cross conceptual wires; the established conjunctions between objects and their qualities are altered, and phenomena–fall weather, melodic shape, or cultural journalism–are clothed in signifiers which normally point to other referents.

At the very least you must pretend not to notice what he is doing, and he what you are doing. The center bet, again especially in deeper games, is thus the most direct and open expression of social opposition, which is one of the reasons why both it and match making are surrounded by such an air of unease, furtiveness, embarrassment, and so on.

The center bet is the official one, hedged in again with a webwork of rules, and is made between the two cock owners, with the umpire as overseer and public witness. 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.

But they acted as if we simply did not exist, which, in fact, as this behavior was designed to inform us, we did not, or anyway not yet. The rule about borrowing money–that you may borrow for a bet but not in one–stems and the Balinese are quite conscious of this from similar considerations: You activate village and kingroup rivalries and hostilities, but in “play” form, coming dangerously and entrancingly close to the expression of open and direct interpersonal and intergroup aggression something which, again, almost never happens in the normal course of ordinary lifebut not quite, because, after all, it is “only a cockfight.

As we wandered around, uncertain, wistful, eager to please, people seemed to look right through us with a gaze focused several yards behind us on some more actual stone or tree.

Saying Something of Something. For the situation, the floor is itself created, in jury deliberations, surgical operations, block meetings, sitins, cockfights, by the cultural preoccupations–here, as we shall see, the celebration of status rivalry–which not only specify the focus but, assembling actors and arranging scenery, bring it actually into being.

An incestuous couple is forced to wear pig yokes over their necks and crawl to a pig trough and eat with their mouths there. The connection of cocks and cockfighting with such Powers, with the animalistic demons that threaten constantly to invade the small, cleared off space in which the Balinese have so carefully built their lives and devour its inhabitants, is quite explicit.

The really important wins and losses are seen mostly in other terms, and the general attitude toward wagering is not any hope of cleaning up, of making a killing addict gamblers again exceptedbut that of the horseplayer’s prayer: Jones Methews March 13, at 4: The talk which goes on all the time is about fights against such-and-such a cock of So-and-So which your cock demolished, not on how much you won, a fact people, even for large bets, rarely remember for any length of time, though they will remember the day they did in Pan Loh’s finest cock for years.


Second, the Balinesee do not mathematically reduce odds, but bet directly in terms of stated odds as such. Is any of what Roseberry is saying new?

Savage Minds

The handler whose cock has delivered the blow immediately picks it up so that it will not get a return blow, for if he does not the match is cockfiht to end plzy a mutually mortal tie as the two birds wildly hack each other to pieces. Cockfights are illegal and the sudden appearance of the police during one of the first fights Geertz and his wife witnessed sent everyone scurrying home:.

The center bet coalition is, in all but the shallowest games, always made up by structural allies–no “outside money” is involved. Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: If one takes the cockfight, or any other collectively sustained symbolic structure, as a means of “saying something of something” to invoke a famous Aristotelian tagthen one is faced with a problem not in social mechanics but social semantics.

But it is only an apparent one, for, rather than taking myths, totem rites, marriage rules, or whatever as texts to interpret. But I think the real appeal of this article is the way the reader is drawn into the process of anthropological discovery.

They are fed a special diet, which varies somewhat according to individual theories but which is mostly maize, sifted for impurities with far more care than it is when mere humans are going to eat it and offered to the animal kernel by kernel.

The old man turns out to be Siva and, thus, to live in a great palace in the sky, though the hero does not know this. Set not in the matrix of the kinetic emotionality of animals, but in that of the static passionlessness of divine mentality, it expresses tranquillity not disquiet.

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. Mailing List Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage.

When the husband returns, the cocks, crowing a jingle, inform him of the deception and, furious, he sets out to kill the child. Logically, the transfer could, of course, as well go the other way; but, like most of the rest of us, the Balinese are a great deal more interested in understanding men than they are in understanding cocks.