“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. 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. Perhaps one of the most widely read anthropological essays, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” by Clifford Geertz is available.

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The taker tries to shout the giver into longer odds, the giver to shout the taker into shorter ones.

All this is again recorded in palm-leaf manuscripts and endlessly discussed by the Balinese who do not all have identical systemsand a full-scale componentialcum-symbolic analysis of cock classifications would be extremely valuable both as an adjunct to the description of the cockfight and in itself.

Dockfight are both in over their heads. The double entendre here is deliberate.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight – Wikipedia

Feertz Bali, to be teased is to be accepted. Yet, because–in another of those paradoxes, along with painted feelings and unconsequenced acts, which haunt aesthetics–that subjectivity does not property exist until it is thus organized, art forms generate and regenerate the very subjectivity they pretend only to display.

After a fight has ended and the emotional debris is cleaned away–the bets paid, the curses cursed, the carcasses possessed–seven, eight, perhaps even a dozen men slip negligently into the ring with a cock and seek to find there a logical opponent for it. What is a fair coin in the center is a biased one on the side.

On the second day of Congress reconvening, two weeks out from the inauguration, Republican lawmakers have already initiated a push to defund Planned Parenthood. Addict gamblers are really less declassed for their status is, as everyone else’s, inherited than merely impoverished and personally disgraced. I have never seen an umpire’s judgment cocofight on any subject, even by the more despondent losers, nor have I ever heard, even in private, a charge of unfairness directed against one, or, for that matter, complaints about umpires in general.


Cocks armed with steel spurs sharp enough to cut off a finger or run a hole through a foot were running wildly around. Sabungthe word for cock and one which appears in inscriptions as early as A.

Motion picture recording plus multiple observers would probably be necessary to deal with cocjfight effectively. Is any of what Roseberry is saying new? But such terminological problems are in any cast secondary to the essential point: 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:. Rola brings up an interesting point.

The Balinese never do anything in a cokcfight way that they can contrive to do in a complicated one, and to this generalization cockfight wagering is no exception. Most British fights were “mains,” in which a preagreed number of cocks were aligned into two teams and fought serially.

The easiest way to make this clear, and at least to some degree to demonstratee it, is to invoke the village whose cockfighting activities I observed the closest–the one in which the raid occurred and from geertx my statistical data are taken. It led to a sudden and unusually complete acceptance into a society extremely difficult for outsiders to penetrate.

It puts a construction on them, makes them, to those historically positioned to appreciate the construction, meaningful –visible, tangible, graspable–“real,” in an ideational sense. Attending cockfights and participating in them is, for the Balinese, a kind of sentimental education.

The disquietfulness arises, “somehow,” out of a conjunction of three attributes of the fight: Considered Geertz’s most seminal work, the essay addresses the meaning of cockfighting in Balinese culture. Anonymous January 5, at 1: A Photographic Analysis New York,p.

Précis for “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (Geertz 1973)

Or, if you take the extremes, for very large fights, those with center bets over a hundred ringgits the ratio is 1 to 1 seven and seven ; for very small fights, those under forty ringgits, it is 1. 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. This is what actually happened in this election.


The next morning the village was a completely different world for us. Our host of five minutes leaped instantly to our defense, producing an impassioned description of who and what we were, so detailed and so accurate that it was my turn, having barely communicated with a living human being save my landlord and the village chief for more than a week, to be astonished.

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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. 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: Fitz-Barnard, Fighting Sports London, 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.

Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. But to regard such forms as “saying something of something,” and saying it to somebody, is at least to open up the possibility of an analysis which attends to their substance rather than to reductive formulas professing to account for them.

For reasons I shall come to, it is done somewhat differently from case to case, and is an obsessively deliberate affair. But if one splits the figures at sixty ringgits center bets, the ratios turn out to be 1.