Clifford Geertz I have chosen this essay on Geertz, as the information I received in class I found interesting and wanted to elaborate on the knowledge I already had. The spurs affixed, the two cocks are placed by their handlers who may or may not be their owners facing one another in the center of the ring. This is particularly true if, as often happens, the spur sticks in its victim's body, for then the aggressor is at the mercy of his wounded foe. Usually he will feel obliged to bet for it, the more so the closer the kin tie and the deeper the fight. The corner boys consider playing for money the real test of skill and, unless a man performs well when money is at stake, he is not considered a good competitor. On ramÈ, see Bateson and Mead, Balinese Character, pp. Most of the time, in any case, the cocks fly almost immediately at one another in a wing-beating, head-thrusting, leg-kicking explosion of animal fury so pure, so absolute, and in its own way so beautiful, as to be almost abstract, a Platonic concept of hate.
This culture is one of the changes brought about by a changing society, which is moving away from its traditional culture to a more modernized approach. To expose it, however, it is necessary to turn to the aspect of cockfighting around which all the others pivot, and through which they exercise their force, an aspect I have thus far studiously ignored. Only exceptionally well-trusted, solid, and, given the complexity of the code, knowledgeable citizens perform this job, and in fact men will bring their cocks only to fights presided over by such men. A match made, the other hopefuls retire with the same deliberate indifference, and the selected cocks have their spurs tadji affixed--razor sharp, pointed steel swords, four or five inches long. What I believe he means is that instead of looking at theories and things of that nature about how religion started, we should look at concepts beyond religion itself. And, perhaps most important of all, for the other things might have come in other ways, it put me very quickly on to a combination emotional explosion, status war, and philosophical drama of central significance to the society whose inner nature I desired to understand. And, after a decent interval, bewildered but relieved to have survived and stayed out of jail, so did we.
Most of them do indeed manage to ruin themselves in a remarkably short time, but there always seems to be one or two of them around, pawning their land and selling their clothes in order to bet, at any particular time. Every people, the proverb has it, loves its own form of violence. Between September 30, 1965 and the early months of 1966 estimations of 500,000 to over one million people across Indonesia were killed and the island of Bali bore witness to some of the largest occurrences of violence, though the an accurate account of the loss of life is still unknown Cribb 1990. Today, a few special occasions aside, the newer rectitude makes so open a statement of the connection between the excitements of collective life and those of blood sport impossible, but, less directly expressed, the connection itself remains intimate and intact. Its significance as a ritual, a piece of heritage, a mechanism for exploring social relations holds fast, but as an evolving society the Balinese have added to it. Even though people are unharmed, it is only the cocks that pay with their life, and the owners of the cocks risk their reputation in loosing. For any given currency unit, like the ringgit, therefore, 6.
According to Charles Taylor, there is a new generation of young people whose existence is crouched with a culture of individualism P5, Charles. Cross-cultural comparison is used to explain perceptions of the Balinese attitude towards cocks and cockfighting to his intended American audience. The man who attaches the spurs also provides them, and if the rooster he assists wins its owner awards him the spur-leg of the victim. 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. We will be looking for a concise and brief description of the content or subject of the article and a summary of the overall point s being made by the author. The culture of a people is an ensemble of texts, themselves ensembles, which the anthropologist strains to read over the shoulders of those to whom they properly belong. 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.
On the established anthropological principle, When in Rome, my wife and I decided, only slightly less instantaneously than everyone else, that the thing to do was run too. Bateson and Mead, Balinese Character, pp. To this general pattern, the cockfight, entirely of, by, and for men women--at least Balinese women--do not even watch , is the most striking exception. In fact, at various points, explanations are numbered so that readers can clearly identity at what point Geertz is offering his interpretation and not an observation. The Balinese revulsion against any behavior as animal-like can hardly be overstressed. What is a fair coin in the center is a biased one on the side. Geertz as an anthropologist is capable of recognizing this relationship between the Balinese men and their fascination with cocks and how it has an affect on their culture.
The cockfight is run very straightforward using a coconut as a timer for the two rounds of the match. Americans told this story to themselves about themselves — but suddenly it is no longer a story. A man who admits to and brags about sexual assault is about to be inaugurated instead of a woman widely considered the most qualified presidential candidate in history. Studying Clifford Geertz, Patricia Limerick, John Wideman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson has made it easier for me to answer my own question. Everything was dust and panic. 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. In short being Balinese is having cockfights.
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. Cockfighting men would be ashamed to go anywhere near them. When an archetype is virtually merged with that which it signifies, to the point of word slippage around a homonym, we have critical skills training to acknowledge that a point is being made, and symbolically exaggerated, for effect. Written by people who wish to remain anonymous Clifford Geertz Author and anthropologist, Geertz recounts the time he and his wife spent in Bali, Indonesia. Description: Dædalus was founded in 1955 as the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and established as a quarterly in 1958. Yet Geertz fails to account for different interpretations and meanings of symbols despite the importance of symbols in his theory. Langer New York, 1961 , p.
The superorganism came instantly apart as its components scattered in all directions. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask your Course Director. In other words, I suggest that in the event and processes of cockfights are only symbolizing the idea of establishing power of ranks in Balinese villages. All this is again recorded in palm-leaf manuscripts and endlessly discussed by the Balinese who do not all have identical systems , and 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. To the locals these fights represent an accumulation of status.
But the intimacy of men with their cocks is more than metaphorical. But whatever the level at which one operates, and however intricately, the guiding principle is the same: societies, like lives, contain their own interpretations. Hooykaas, The Lay of the Jaya Prana London, 1958 , p. Novels are said to have strength, buildings eloquence, plays momentum, ballets repose. The paradox of fair coin in the middle, biased coin on the outside is thus a merely apparent one. One can even compare forms from different cultures to define their character in reciprocal relief. There are two different kinds of bets that take place.