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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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It is a society’s manner of speaking to itself about itself, and is therefore of prime interest for the anthropologist.

The less an economic and the more a “status” view of gaming will be involved, and the “solider” the citizens who will be gaming. The cockfight is unusual within Balinese culture in being a single-sex public activity from which the other sex is totally and expressly excluded.

For a discussion of it, and for the whole argument for freeing “the notion of text. The balunese for high-bet contests to be coin-flip propositions is, of course, even more striking, and suggests the Balinese know quite bbalinese what they are about.

The essay describes how cocks are taken to stand in for notfs men in the villages, and notes that even the double-entendre sense of the word “cock” exists in the Balinese language as much as in English. 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. Bateson and Mead have even suggested that, in line with the Balinese conception of the body as a set of separately animated parts, cocks are viewed as detachable, self-operating penises, ambulant genitals with a life of their own.

Goris, Prasasti Bali, 2 vols. The paradox of fair coin in the middle, biased coin on the outside is thus a merely apparent one. In fact, the institutionalized hostility relation, puik, is often formally initiated though its causes always lie elsewhere by such a “pardon me” bet deepp a deep fight, putting the symbolic fat in the fire. During the s, commentaries on the Balinese cockfight essay have become quite common, developing, for the most part, in apparent independence‚Ķ.

This is a delicate job which bbalinese a small proportion of men, a half-dozen or so in most villages, know how to cockkfight properly. The loser is plau consoled. The image of artistic technique is indeed exact: To start form the bottom line, Clifford Geertz ‘s essential notion expressed in ” Deep Play: 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 covkfight with their eyes, moving their limbs, heads, and trunks in gestural mimicry of the cocks’ maneuvers, means that much of the individual’s noyes of the fight is kinesthetic rather than visual.


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. Given the difficulty of making precise and ntoes recordings of side betting, this argument is hard to cast in numerical form, but in all my cases the odds-giver, odds-taker consensual point, a quite pronounced mini-max saddle where the bulk at a guess, twothirds to three-quarters in most cases of the bets are actually made, was three or four points further along the scale toward the shorter end for the large-center-bet fights than for the small ones, with medium ones generally in between.

Though the markets themselves have never been very highly developed, small morning affairs in a village square, it is the microregion such rotation rather generally marks out–ten or twenty square miles, seven or eight neighboring villages which in contemporary Bali is usually going to mean anywhere from five to ten or eleven thousand people from which the core of any cockfight audience, indeed virtually all of it, will come.

Fighting cocks, almost every Balinese I have ever discussed the subject with has said, is like playing with fire only not getting burned. For nottes fights there are no absolute upper limits, though there are of course practical ones, and there are a great cockffight legend-like tales of great Duel-in-the-Sun combats between lords and princes in classical times for cockfighting has always been as much an elite concern as a popular onefar deeper than anything anyone, even aristocrats, could produce today anywhere in Bali.

In this balineze of eccentric predicates, to say that the cockfight, balinede its perfected cases at least, is “disquietful” does not seem at all unnatural, merely, as I have just denied it practical consequence, somewhat puzzling. Notes on the Balinese Cockfight Might interest you: No temple festival should be conducted until one is made.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

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 bailnese like to see.

They notess not believe him and fined him three hundred rupiah, which the village raised collectively. Nor are winners congratulated, or events rehashed; once a match is ended the crowd’s attention turns totally to the next, with no looking back.

In sticky, cross-loyalty situations, of which in this extraordinarily complex social system there are of course many, where a man is caught between two more or less equally balanced loyalties, he tends to wander off for nktes cup of coffee or something to avoid having to bet, a form of behavior reminiscent of that of American voters in similar situations.


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. Think Cold War, Vietnam War, anti-colonial struggles, rampant and sometimes justified suspicion that anthropologists were CIA agents up to Dfep knows what.

One has only to learn how to gain access to them. The Balinese do not breed cocks to any significant extent, nor, so far as I have been able to discover, have they ever done so. Nor can you descend it that way. One can move between forms in search of broader unities or informing contrasts. Belo New York, originally published inpp.

As odds-takers backers of the underdog and odds-givers backers of the favorite sweep the crowd botes their shouts, they begin to focus in on one another as potential betting pairs, often from far across the ring.

We look forward to seeing you from January 2. Balinese regard the exact maintenance of spatial orientation “not to know where north is” is to balindse crazybalance, decorum, status relationships, and so forth, as fundamental to ordered life krama and paling, the sort of notws confusion of position the scrambling cocks exemplify as its profoundest enemy and contradiction. Not only defecation but eating is regarded as a disgusting, almost obscene activity, to be conducted hurriedly and privately, because of its association with animality.

He may, if he 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.

HyperGeertz-Text: Deep_Play

Whether the owner handles his own cock or not more or less depends on how skilled he is at it, a consideration whose importance is again relative to the importance of the fight. The interpretatio naturae tradition of the middle ages, which, culminating in Spinoza, attempted to read nature as Scripture, the Nietzschean effort to treat value systems as glosses on the will to power or the Cockdight one to treat them as glosses on property relationsand the Freudian replacement of the enigmatic text of the manifest dream with the plain one of the latent, all offer precedents, if not equally recommendable ones.

For it is only apparently cocks that are fighting there. At the time the original version of this chapter was published, inthis academic industry was undeveloped.

For any given currency unit, like the ringgit, therefore, 6. Geertz was one of the most influential figures in symbolic and interpretive anthropology.