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“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. The essay by anthropologist Clifford Geertz, which first appeared in his best- known book The Interpretation of Cultures, has been published in Russian as a.

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This page was last edited on 26 Januaryat But for the Balinese, for whom nothing is more pleasurable than an affront obliquely delivered or more painful than one obliquely received–particularly when mutual acquaintances, undeceived by surfaces, are watching–such appraisive drama is deep indeed.

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

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

It was, moreover, still possible for people who talked too openly about certain topics to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night. In Bali, to be teased is to be accepted. That this is the case is apparent from mere inspection, from the Balinese’s own analysis of the matter, and from what more systematic observations I was able to collect.

One can move between forms in search of broader unities or informing contrasts. A man who has a passion for cocks, an enthusiast in the literal sense of the term, can spend most of his life with them, and even those, the overwhelming majority, whose passion though intense has not entirely run away with them, can and do spend what seems not only to an outsider, but also to themselves an inordinate amount of time with them.

This does not mean that the financial element is all-important. This principle is extended logically. Even impressionistically–the only approach open to a lone ethnographer caught in the middle of all this–it is clear that certain men lead both in determining the favorite that is, making the opening cock-type calls which always initiate the process and in directing the movement of the odds, these “opinion leaders” being the more accomplished cockfighters-cum-solid-citizens to be discussed below.

On this, see J. What makes Balinese cockfighting deep is thus not money in itself, but what, the more of it that is involved the more so, money causes to happen: Enacted and re-enacted, so far without end, the cockfight enables the Balinese, as, read and reread, Macbeth enables us, to see a dimension of his own subjectivity.


Views Read Edit View history. People raced down the road, disappeared head first over walls, scrambled under platforms, folded themselves behind wicker screens, scuttled up coconut trees. Self-mockery seems to be an essential ingredient for making an anthropological classic. This process, which rarely takes less than ten minutes, and often a good deal longer, is conducted in a very subdued, oblique, even dissembling manner Those not immediately involved give it at best but disguised, sidelong attention; those who, embarrassedly, are, attempt to pretend somehow that the whole thing is not really happening.

As noted earlier, at most cockfights there are, around the very edges of the cockfight area, a large number of mindless, sheer-chance type gambling games roulette, dice throw, coin-spin, pea-under-the-shell operated by concessionaires. For these, see V. The first is a matter of deliberate, very quiet, almost furtive arrangement by the coalition members and the umpire huddled like conspirators in the center of the ring; the second is a matter of impulsive shouting, public offers, and public acceptances by the excited throng around its edges.

What it does is what, for other peoples with other temperaments and other conventions, Lear and Crime and Punishment do; it catches up these themes–death, masculinity, rage, pride, loss, beneficence, chance–and, ordering them into an encompassing structure, presents them in such a way as to throw into relief a particular view of their essential nature. By the time he is forced to put it back down he is usually drenched in chicken blood, but, as in prize fighting, a good handler is worth his weight in gold.

Cockfighting is a fight for statues, with bets serving only to symbolize the risk. Rola brings up an interesting point. Babies are not allowed to crawl for that reason.

The elite, which is not itself so very puritan, worries about the poor, ignorant peasant gambling all his money away, about what foreigners will think, about the waste of time better devoted to building up the country.

The “deep play” of the Balinese cockfight, says Geertz, is like artworks which illustrate an essential insight into our very existence. The policeman retreated in rather total disarray. Almost nobody greeted us; but nobody scowled or said anything unpleasant to us either, which would have been almost as satisfactory.

Clifcord medium fights the pressure is somewhat less, and for small ones less yet, though there is always an effort to make things at least approximately equal, for even at fifteen ringgits five days work no one wants to make an even money bet in a clearly unfavorable situation.


HyperGeertz-Text: Deep_Play

When you do get them, the game is very shallow, betting very slow, and the whole thing very dull, with no one save the immediate principals and an addict gambler or two at all clfiford. The slaughter in the cock ring is not a depiction of how things literally are among men, but, what is almost worse, of how, from a particular angle, they imaginatively are.

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. But the larger the bet and the more frequently you do it, the more the “pardon me” tack will lead to social disruption. Korn, Het Adatrecht van Bali, 2d ed. But no one’s status really changes. The old man asks for food, and the hero spends his last coins to buy him some.

Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” is that a people’s culture is an ensemble of rituals which are in themselves ensembles, and these texts are what the anthropologist is trying to decipher.

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

When spur affixers and cock handlers are someone other than the owner, they are almost always a quite close relative–a brother or cousin–or a very intimate friend of his.

The first is to draw the audience into the society along with the anthropologist. Frye, The Educated Imagination Bloomington. In a society where the deep daily wage of a manual laborer–a brickmaker, an ordinary farmworker, a market porter–was about cliffotd ringgits a day, and considering the fact that fights were held on the average about every two-and a-half days in the immediate area I studied, this is clearly serious gambling, even if the bets are pooled rather than individual efforts.

Thus spared, he returned to oon the upstarts, regain the throne, reconstitute the Balinese high tradition, and build its most powerful, glorious, and prosperous state. It works in exactly the same way in Balinese as it does in English, even to producing the same tired jokes, strained puns, and uninventive obscenities.


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