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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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 assisting in making sure of that. About half-way down another fugitive ducked suddenly into a compound-his own, it turned out-and we, seeing nothing ahead ckckfight us but rice fields, open country, and a very high volcano, followed him.

Scott, History of Cockfighting London, ; and L. A marriageable young man still shy with the opposite sex or someone in a new job anxious to make a good impression is called “a fighting cock caged for the first time. It is little wonder that when, as is the invariable rule, the owner of the winning cock takes the carcass of the loser–often torn limb from limb by its enraged owner–home to notew, he does so with a mixture of social embarrassment, moral satisfaction, aesthetic disgust, and cannibal joy.

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. Is any of what Roseberry is saying new?

Bali, plah because it is Bali, is a well-studied place. Is he too proud for the likes of us? The logic is similar in both cases.

If an outsider cock is fighting any cock from your village you will tend to support the local one. Actually, such “away games,” though infrequent, tend to mend the ruptures between village members that the constantly occurring “home games,” where village factions are opposed rather than united, exacerbate. 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.

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 act 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.


Even falling down or any form of clumsiness is considered to be bad for these reasons. He gives you the typical, recurring, or what Aristotle calls universal event. HyperGeertz WorldCatalogue cannot be held responsible for any neglection of these regulations and will impose such a responsibility on any unlawful user.

The superorganism came instantly apart as its components scattered in all directions. When the truck drove up he ran to the river, stripped off his sarong, and plunged in so he could say, when at length they found him sitting there pouring water over his head, that he had been away bathing when the whole affair had occurred and was ignorant of it.

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Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

The closer the identification of cock and man or: Langer New York,p. 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.

However, Geertz reminds us, neither winning nor losing in a cockfight can actually change the social status of the participant, remaining but a metaphor of real success of failure.

As this is a formal paradigm, it is intended to display the logical, not the causal. By the same token, you rarely get two cocks from the same group, even more rarely from the same subfaction, and virtually never from the same sub-subfaction which would be in most cases one extended family fighting.

But that fact no more argues against my interpretation than the fact that most painters, poets, and playwrights are mediocre argues against the view that artistic effort is directed toward profundity and, with a certain frequency, approximates it.

At the time the original version of this chapter was published, inthis academic industry was undeveloped. Yet what it says is not merely that risk is exciting, loss depressing, or triumph gratifying, banal tautologies of affect, but that it is of these emotions, thus exampled, that society is built and individuals put together.

When he talks about culture as text, the text is fully material, like words printed in a book. Weber, The Sociology of Religion Boston, Not only was he there, but he was embraced by the members of the society who loved his clumsy ways.

Further, those who bet on the side including these people are, as I have already remarked, the defp established members of the village–the solid citizens. On the individual level, people involved in an institutionalized hostility relationship, called puik, in which they do not speak or otherwise have anything to do with each other the causes of this formal breaking of relations are many: Mickey James February 13, at One has only to learn how to gain access to them.


It gave me the kind of immediate, inside view grasp of an aspect of “peasant mentality” that anthropologists not fortunate enough to flee headlong with their subjects from armed authorities normally do not get. A Photographic Analysis New York,p.

Savage Minds

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 the same breath disturbed certain sorts of theologians. For any given currency unit, like the ringgit, therefore, cocjfight. The color element is merely the one normally used as the type name, except when the two cocks of different types–as cockfighy principle they must be–have the same color, in which case a secondary indication from one of the other dimensions “large speckled” v.

So, too, for the village as a whole. But I think the real appeal of this article is the way the reader is drawn into the process of anthropological discovery. A deepp 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.

There is a fixed and known odds paradigm which runs in a continuous series from ten-to-nine at the short end to two-to-one on the long: His house is encircled by the king’s men. The problem is to learn how to read them, not to decipher something else going on behind the scenes. More Geertz online at HyperGeertz. On the independence of personal reputation and public status in Bali, see above, Chapter The types are coordinated with various cosmological ideas which help shape the making of matches, so that, for example, you fight a small, headstrong, speckled brown-on-white cock with flat-lying feathers and thin legs from the east side of the ring on a certain day of the complex Balinese calendar, and a large, cautious, all-black cock with tufted feathers and stubby legs from the north side on another day, and so on.

Hughes, Indonesian Upheaval New York,pp.