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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Early in April ofmy wife and I arrived, malarial and diffident, in a Balinese village we intended, as anthropologists, to study. The language of everyday moralism is shot through, on the male side of it, with roosterish imagery.
Bettors themselves form a sociomoral hierarchy in these terms. Social Research 49 We may have moved away from the type of culturalism that ignores the political and economic context, but it seems pretty banal to point this out, at least in American anthropology French anthropology being another story. Almost always odds calling starts off toward the the long end of the range–five-to-four or four-to-three–and then moves toward the shorter end with greater or less speed and to a greater and lesser degree.
Is any of what Roseberry is saying new? Next, there are those who fight cocks in small, or occasionally medium matches, but have not the status to join in the large feep, though they may bet from time cockfiggt time on the side in those. Cockfighting is for those who are involved in the everyday politics of prestige as well, not for youth, women, subordinates, and so forth. 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.
Balinese regard the exact maintenance of spatial orientation “not to know where north is” is to be crazybalance, decorum, status relationships, and so forth, as fundamental to ordered cockight krama and paling, the sort of whirling confusion of position the scrambling cocks exemplify as its profoundest enemy and contradiction.
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz
That prestige is a profoundly serious business is apparent everywhere one looks in Bali–in the village, the balinexe, the economy, the state. 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. They are, these addicts, regarded as fair game for the genuine enthusiasts, those who do understand, to take a little money away from–something that is easy enough to do by luring them, through the force of their greed, into irrational bets on mismatched cocks.
It is in large part because the marginal disutility of loss is so great at the higher levels of betting that to engage in such betting is to lay one’s public self, allusively and metaphorically, through the medium of one’s cock, on the line. 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. Balineae, again, what statistics I have tend to bear this out. The article starts with a heart-pounding chase.
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight and Clifford Geertz by amiya moretta on Prezi
To this general pattern, the cockfight, entirely of, by, and for men women–at least Balinese women–do not even watchis the most striking exception. More Geertz online at HyperGeertz.
Aside from cocks and a few domestic animals–oxen, ducks–of no emotional significance, the Balinese are aversive to animals and treat their large number of dogs not merely callously but with a phobic cruelty. Incest, though hardly approved, is a much less horrifying crime than bestiality.
A cultural 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.
For them, and to a degree for ourselves, we were nonpersons, specters, invisible men.
The only place power balihese into play in this formulation is in who has access to particular symbols. Geertz distinguishes “deep fights”, with high wages, and “shallow fights”, usually with low wages of both gambling and prestige.
The corner boys consider playing for money the real test of skill and, unless a man performs well when money is at hotes, he is not considered a good competitor. Bateson and Mead, Balinese Character, pp.
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.
For Geertz, culture is mainly psychological and personal. The question why such matches are interesting–indeed, for the Balinese, exquisitely absorbing–takes us out ccokfight the realm of formal concerns into more broadly sociological and social-psychological ones, and to a less purely economic idea of what “depth” in gaming amounts to. It channels aggression and rivalry into an indirect symbolic sphere of engagement.
Given the difficulty of making precise and complete recordings of side betting, this argument is hard to cast in numerical form, but in all my cases the odds-giver, odds-taker consensual balonese, a quite pronounced pla 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.
What it says about that life is not unqualified nor even bzlinese by what other equally eloquent cultural statements say about it. During this interval, slightly over two minutes, the handler of the wounded cock has been working frantically over it, like a trainer patching a mauled boxer between rounds, to get it in shape for a last, desperate try for victory.
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Brooke Drover on Prezi
What it does is what, for other peoples with other temperaments and other conventions, Lear and Crime and Punishment do; bbalinese 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.
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.
There is the matchmaking, there is the betting, there is the fight, there is the result–utter triumph and utter defeat–and there is the hurried, embarrassed passing of money. The coconut is then sunk twice more and the fight coxkfight recommence. Two fingers in a six-to-five situation means a man wants cockfigbt wager ten ringgits on the underdog against twelve, three in an eight-to-seven situation, cockifght against twenty-four, and so on.
He does not seek to understand symbolic forms in terms of how they function in concrete situations to organize perceptions meanings, emotions, concepts, attitudes ; he seeks to understand them entirely in terms of their internal structure.
The interpretation of cultures: The first is typically large; the second typically small. By the time I left I had spent about as much time looking into cockfights as into witchcraft, irrigation, caste, or marriage. If he is certain in his mind that it will not win, he may just not bet at all, particularly if it is only a second cousin’s bird or if the fight is a shallow one.
A man backing the favorite, and thus considering giving odds if he can get them short enough, indicates the fact by crying out the color-type of that cock–“brown,” “speckled,” or whatever. 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.
There are two other Balinese values and disvalues which, connected with punctuate temporality on the one hand and unbridled aggressiveness on the other, reinforce the sense that the cockfight is at once continuous with ordinary social life and a direct negation of it: In Bali, to be teased is to be accepted.
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.
We look forward to seeing you from January 2. Sabungthe word for cock and one which appears in inscriptions as early as A. To ask of any cultural text, be it a cockfight or a folktale, who is talking, who is being talked to, what is being talked about, and what form of action is being called for, is to move cultural analysis to a new level that renders the old antinomies of materialism and idealism irrelevant.
What is a fair coin in the center is a biased one on the side. Even falling down or any form of clumsiness is considered to be bad for these reasons. The ceremony consecrating a Brahmana priest, a matter of breath control, postural immobility, and vacant concentration upon the depths of being, displays a radically different, but to the Balinese equally real, property of social hierarchy–its reach toward the numinous transcendent. Trade has followed the cock for centuries in rural Bali, and the sport has been one of the main agencies of the island’s monetization.