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Evidence for Gabata (Adowa)

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.664
Type Ethnography
Location 14° 9'47.41"N, 38°53'36.72"E
Ruleset Gabata (Adwa)
Date 1977-01-01 - 1977-12-31
Rules 3x6 board. Play begins with three counters per hole. Each player owns the row closest to them and the right half of the central row. Variant: Can be played with three players, where one player has a full row of six and each other player has two rows of three on either half of the board. Sowing occurs in the following direction: from left to right in the player's full row, right to left in the player's half of the central row, proceeding to the opponent's full row and sowing right to left, then left to right in the opponent's part of the central row, then proceeding back to the player's full row and proceeding as before. Sowing always begins from a player's own holes. When the last counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. If the last counter falls into an occupied hole, the contents of that hole are picked up and sowing continues. Captures are made by dropping the last counters of a sowing into an opponent's hole which contains three counters, making it have four counters. Captures cannot be made until after the original three counters placed in the holes at the beginning of the game have been moved. Once such a hole is captured, the player owns this hole, but cannot sow from it. When a player captures a hole like this, they may continue sowing from any hole on their side of the board. During sowing, if the final counter lands in an opponent's captured hole, the player captures the last counter dropped and one of the counters from the hole, or just the final counter if the hole is now empty. Play ends when all the counters are captured or have accumulated in captured hole. The player with two or more counters more than the original number captures one hole from the opponent; one hole for every three extra counters, taking these holes from the opponent's left hand holes. If the player only has two extra counters, the opponent gives the player one more counter to make three extra. Play continues as before. Play ends when one player has captured all of the holes.
Content "Gabata in Northern Tigre is played on the three-row board already described for the central highlands of Eritrea, and, again as in those highlands, made use of three balls er hole. The mode of play is, however, radically different, the method of capturing in particular having more in common, s we shall see, with the games of central Ethiopia. The game is, however, played by basically the same cross-sections of the population as further north, and is similarly often a pastime during the celebrations after marriage. The Adowa Area The gabata of the Adowa area here described was played by two Haile Sellassie I University students, Alamayehu Gabra Heywat of Maymesham and Haylu Belay of the Gabriel quarter of the city. The arrangement of the board and direction of plat is the same as in the three-row gabata of the highlands of Eritrea. Normally the game would be played by two players, but three could also play, in which case one would own the whole of one row of six holes, while the two other players would each be allotted two rows of three holes on either side of the board. Players would move alternately (or in the case of three players consecutively) , without racing as in the highlands of Eritrea. The first plater would begin any-where on his side of the board by picking up the entire contents of any of his holes and would then drop the balls one by one in the ensuing holes, picking up the contents of the hole in which the last ball fell, and proceeding in this manner until he reached an empty hole after which he would stop, it being then his opponent's turn to move. EAch player, who could start a move only from one of his own holes, would have as his objective the capture of a hole on his opponent's side, preferably the latter's extreme left hole, known as ayni eda or "eye of the house." (If the game was played by three players each would try to capture the hole immediately after his own block of holes in the direction of play.) The process of capturing, or wagika, the word employed for piercing with a spear, was effected by dropping the last ball in any hand into one of the opponent's holes containing three balls, which were thus increased to four. (This method of capture, as we shall see, is characteristic of several of the games further south). Such a hole was referred to as wegue, but could not be captured until the original clusters of three balls in each hole had been destroyed. A player could under no circumstances pick up the contents of a wegue he had captured, but could tax or "eat" mebelae, from s wegue belonging to his opponent, in which case he would put aside two balls, the last in his hand and one from the wegue, as his takings. Should the wegue become empty the opponent landing there with the last ball in his hand would pit aside only that ball, i.e., not two as previously, but whenever the holle filled again the previous method of "eating" involving two balls would be resumed. A player capturing a wegue continued his move, doing so by moving the contents of any of the holes on his side. The prolongation of the move was known as belu'eka sini, or "escorting." There was (unlike in some other types of gabata) no limitation on the number of wegue a player could capture, and the two players (or in the case of three players, all three)could simultaneously own such holes, for a wegue once captured could not be lost in that round. A player unable to move on account of lack of counters on his side (always excluding wegue holes from which he could not in any case pick up balls) would lose the right to play, but could do so again whenever in the course of play one or more balls returned to any of his usable holes. The round would come to an end when all the balls had been either captured and put aside or had accumulated in one or more wegue. The players would then count out their total takings i.e., those removed from the board or accumulated in wegue, by putting them back in their holes three by three. A player winning two or more than his original complement of counters would capture holes from his opponent, one hole for every three balls captured, and would take these from his opponent's left-hand holes. Whenever a player found himself with an extra two counters, he would gain a complete hole, for his opponent, with one extra counter, would surrender the latter to him. If towards the end of the game a player was reduced to one hole which was subsequently captured as a wegue the capturer would pick up three of the four balls as his takings, thus leaving the other player one counters with which to continue to move. The game would be won when one or other player captured all the holes and thus became the victor." Pankhurst 1977: 164.
Confidence 100
Source Pankhurst, R. 1971. Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia Observer 14(3):154-206.

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