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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Functionalism lives, and so does psychologism. If we ventured to approach someone something one is powerfully inhibited from doing in such an atmospherehe moved, negligently but definitively, away. Hogg Baltimore,baliinese. Thus, for a nine-to-eight bet, one man wagers nine ringgits, the other eight; for five-to-four, one wagers five, the other four.

Collective responses to natural evils–illness, crop failure, volcanic eruptions–almost always involve them. Balinese culture Anthropology literature Cockfighting. Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low wages of both gambling and prestige. Saturday, May 7, Clifford Geertz: To anyone who has been in Bali any length of time, the deep psychological identification of Balinese men with their cocks is unmistakable.

The paradox of fair coin in the middle, biased coin on the outside is thus a merely apparent one. Or, if you take the extremes, for very large fights, those with center bets over a hundred drep the ratio is 1 to 1 seven and seven ; for very small fights, those under forty ringgits, it is 1.

The really important wins cockvight losses are seen mostly in other terms, and the general attitude playy wagering is not any hope of cleaning up, of making a killing addict gamblers again exceptedbut that of the horseplayer’s prayer: Moreover, we had not seen the village cockfivht all day, he must have gone to town.

About 10 percent of the winner’s receipts are subtracted for the umpire’s share and that of the fight sponsors.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

When he talks about culture as text, the text is fully material, like words printed in a book. During these twenty-one seconds the handlers pengangkeb are not permitted to touch their roosters. But it is a momentary gain or lost, the statues is only gained or lost momentarily following the fight but is maintained in the long run, with cockfights p,ay in making sure of that.

Actually, the typing of cocks, which is extremely elaborate I have collected more than twenty classes, certainly not a complete listis not based on color alone, but on a series of independent, interacting, dimensions, which include-besides color–size, bone thickness, plumage, and temperament.

What is “outside” depends upon the context, of course, but given it, no outside money is mixed in with the main bet; if the principals cannot raise it, it is not made. They do not always succeed.

Paling is social vertigo, the dizzy, disoriented, lost, turned-around feeling one gets when one’s place in the coordinates of social space is not coc,fight, and it is a tremendously disfavored, immensely anxietyproducing state. Early in April ofmy wife and I arrived, malarial and diffident, in a Balinese village we intended, as anthropologists, to study.


Likened to a judge, a king, a priest, and a policeman, he is all of these, and under his assured direction nnotes animal passion of the fight proceeds within the civic certainty of the law. The logic is similar in both cases. Rituals such as the Balinese cockfight, Geertz concludes, are a form of text noted can be read. As in more familiar exercises in close reading, one can start anywhere in a culture’s repertoire of forms and end up anywhere else.

A small place, about five hundred people, and relatively remote, it was its own world. In the case at hand, to treat the cockfight as a text is to bring out a feature of it in my opinion, the central feature of it that treating it as a rite or a pastime, notea two most obvious alternatives, would tend to obscure: 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.

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What we had actually demonstrated was our cowardice, but there is fellowship in that too. At a fight, the umpire saja konong; djuru kembar –the man who manages the coconut–is in charge of their application and his authority is absolute.

You seldom get two outsider cocks fighting, or two cocks with no particular group backing, or with group backing which is mutually unrelated in any clear way. As a result, the fights are usually held in a secluded corner of a village in semisecrecy, a fact which tends to slow the action a little-not very much, but the Balinese do not care to have it slowed at all. What is a fair coin in the center is a biased one on the side. The “deep play” of the Balinese cockfight, says Geertz, is like artworks which illustrate an essential insight into our very existence.

Almost notds matches are sociologically relevant. In the midst of the third match, with hundreds of people, including, still transparent, myself and my wife, fused into a single body around the ring, a superorganism in the literal sense, a truck full of policemen armed with machine guns roared up.

A powerful rendering of life as the Balinese most deeply do not want it to adapt a phrase Frye has used of Gloucester’s blinding is set in the context of a sample of it as they do in fact cpckfight it.

Anthro Classics Online: Geertz’s Notes on the Balinese Cockfight | Savage Minds

The question of how it is that we perceive qualities in things-paintings, books, melodies, plays–that we do not feel we can assert literally to be there has come, in recent years, into the very center of aesthetic theory. Nearly half the matches are relatively trivial, relatively uninteresting–in my borrowed terminology, “shallow”–affairs.

And most curiously, and as we shall see most revealingly, where the first is always, without exception, even money, the second, equally without exception, is never such.


Their combs are cropped, their plumage dressed, their spurs trimmed, their legs massaged, and they are inspected for flaws with the squinted concentration of a diamond merchant.

He soon loses all but a coin or two and repairs to a food stand for a snack, where he meets a decrepit, odorous, and generally unappetizing old beggar leaning on a staff. The asil, or jungle cock, which is the basic fighting strain everywhere the sport is found, is native to southern Asia, and one can buy a good example in the chicken section of almost any Balinese market for anywhere from four or five ringgits up to fifty or more.

But the poet [as opposed to the historian].

HyperGeertz-Text: Deep_Play

On the enormous role of kinesthetic perception in Balinese life. If one dimension of the cockfight’s structure, its lack of temporal directionality, makes it seem a typical segment of the general social life, however, the other, its flat-out, head-to-head or spur-to-spur aggressiveness, makes it seem a contradiction, a reversal, even a subversion of it.

Men blinese “five” and finding themselves answered only with cries of “brown” start crying “six. It is also the umpire to whom accusations of cheating, which, though rare in the extreme, occasionally arise, are referred; and it is he who in the not infrequent cases where the cocks expire virtually together decides which if either, for, though the Balinese do not care for such dewp outcome, there can be ties went first.

But this is far from an inevitable outcome, for if a cock can walk he can fight, balinesse if he can fight, he can kill, and what counts is which cock expires first.

It is in such a way, coloring experience with the light they cast it in, rather than through whatever material effects they may have, that the arts play their role, as arts, in social life.

Goris, Prasasti Bali, 2 vols. He may, if note is not especially well-to-do, not even be the major contributor, though, if only to show that he is not involved in any chicanery, he must be a significant one. This article needs additional citations for verification. If, to quote Northrop Frye again, we go to see Macbeth to learn what a man feels like after he has gained a balineee and lost his soul, Balinese go to cockfights to find out what a man, usually composed, aloof, almost obsessively self-absorbed, a kind of moral autocosm, feels like when, attacked, tormented, challenged, insulted, and driven in result to the extremes of fury, he has totally triumphed or been brought totally low.

This rule is explicit and rigid; fairly elaborate, even rather artificial precautions are taken to avoid breaking it.