Originating more than 2500 years ago, cockfighting is one of the oldest documented sports in the world. It has continued to flourish despite bans against it in many countries. Folklorist Alan Dundes brings together a diverse array of writing on this male-dominated ritual. Vivid descriptions of cockfights from Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, and the Philippines complement critical commentaries, from the 4th-century reflections of St Augustine to contemporary anthropological and psychoanalytic interpretations. Various essays discuss the intricate rules of the cockfight; the ethical question of pitting two equally matched roosters in a fight to the death; the emotional involvement of cockfighters and fans; and the sexual implications of the sport. The result is a collection for anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, and psychologists, as well as followers of this ancient blood sport.
Alan Dundes (1934 2005) was professor of anthropology and folklore at the University of California, Berkeley, and published ten books with the University of Wisconsin Press, including Parsing Through Customs: Essays by a Freudian Folklorist; The Vampire: A Casebook; The Blood Libel Legend; and Cinderella: A Casebook. He was also the editor of Recollecting Freud by Isidor Sadger.