“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.

Author: Jutilar Dorisar
Country: Myanmar
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 23 July 2013
Pages: 475
PDF File Size: 17.78 Mb
ePub File Size: 1.29 Mb
ISBN: 489-7-66593-141-5
Downloads: 98599
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Fauzilkree

It is not, as I have said, of no importance; Balinese are no happier to lose several weeks’ income than anyone else. But the intimacy of men with their cocks is more than metaphorical. Further, the Supreme Court defense of same-gendered unions? On Hogarth, and on this whole problem–there called “multiple matrix matching”–see E.

Goris, Prasasti Bali, 2 vols.

Not only were we no longer invisible, we were suddenly the center of all attention, the object of a great outpouring of warmth, interest, and, most especially, amusement. When Clifford Geertz and his wife first arrived in Bali, they were largely ignored by the villagers.

But for geerrtz 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.

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.

It is, in fact, in shallow games, ones in which smaller amounts of money are involved, that increments and decrements of cash are more nearly synonyms geerrtz utility and disutility, in the ordinary, unexpanded sense–for pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness.


The closer the identification of cock and man or: Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. But no one’s status really changes. It is merely to say that if one looks at Bali not just through the medium of its dances, its shadowplays, its sculpture, and its girls, but–as the Balinese themselves do–also through the medium of its cockfight, the fact that the massacre occurred seems, if no less appalling, less like a contradiction to the laws of nature.

Lifted up into Siva’s presence, he is given the choice of three cocks.

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. Participants of the “deep fights” are usually dominant members of society. Odds and Even Money.

Pr&#;cis for “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (Geertz ) – EM-Journal

Bentham’s concept of “deep play” is found in his The Theory of Legislation. At the time the original version of this chapter was published, inthis academic industry was undeveloped.

In the normal course of things, the Balinese are shy to the point of obsessiveness of open conflict. You activate village and kingroup rivalries and hostilities, but in “play” form, coming dangerously and entrancingly close to the expression of open and direct interpersonal and intergroup aggression something which, again, almost geerts happens in the normal course of ordinary lifebut not quite, because, after all, it is “only a cockfight.

Cocks armed with steel spurs sharp enough to cut off a finger or run a hole through a foot were running wildly around. In this case, however, perhaps because they were raising money for a school that the government was unable to give them, perhaps because raids had been few recently, perhaps, as I gathered from subsequent discussion, there was a notion that the necessary bribes had been paid, they thought they could take a chance on the central square and fockfight a larger and more enthusiastic crowd without attracting the attention of the law.


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.

Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight by Clifford Geertz

If a man whose fortune is a thousand pounds or ringgits wages five hundred of it on an even bet, the marginal utility of the pound he stands to win is clearly less than the marginal disutility of the one he stands to lose. But they acted as if we simply did not exist, which, in fact, as this behavior was designed to inform us, we did not, or anyway not yet.

William Roseberry thinks so. The interpretation of cultures: 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.

Savage Minds

Self-mockery seems to be an essential ingredient for making an anthropological classic. Jaya Prana, the subject of a Balinese Uriah myth, responds to the lord who has offered him the loveliest of six hundred servant girls: In detail, the fit is not, of course, geerttz, but the general pattern is quite consistent: Even falling down or any form of clumsiness is considered to be bad for these reasons.

When an archetype is virtually merged with that which it signifies, to the point cockfihht word slippage around a homonym, we have critical skills training to acknowledge that a point is being made, and symbolically exaggerated, for effect.