Exegetical Essay on “Deep play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”

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Exegetical Essay on “Deep play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” In “ Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” Clifford Geertz, the anthropologist, studies the Balinese society and culture through their illegal yet traditionary game of cockfighting. Although, Bali is a well studied place through their mythology, art, and rituals, previous researchers fail to recognize the real cultural importance cockfights have. While Geertz and his wife lived in Bali they concluded that the phenomenon of cockfighting offers rich cultural material to help those interpret the Balinese society. He argues that the Balinese cockfights are an important revelation of their society and what being Balinese is really like. Cockfights are a cultural figure against social ground through their hatred for animals. These fights also reveal the mock war presented to an individual through a metaphorical and symbolic expression of the owners self. Cockfighting stimulates status tensions throughout their hidden hierarchies that pervade the entire society. Geertz also claims how the deep fights that happen through cockfighting within the Balinese society merges the idea of status and self identification together. The cockfights have a cultural ability to merge these diverse realities to properly embody what being Balinese is about. Initially when Geertz and his wife first arrived in Bali they were placed in a small, remote village with a feel as if it is its own world. They were treated as, “non-persons, spectators, invisible men” , which seemed to be how the Balinese people usually treat outsiders. The couple 11Geertz Clifford, Deep play: notes on the Balinese cockfights, Page 1
FOO 2 were seen as intruders to the communities daily routines. That is until a large cockfight was held in the public square. This fight was held with a purpose of raising money for a new school that which the government failed to provide them with. Cockfights are illegal in Bali under the

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