background Ludii Portal
Home of the Ludii General Game System


Home Games Forum Downloads Concepts Contribute Tutorials Tournaments World Map About

Evidence for Li'b el-Merafib

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1252
Type Ethnography
Location Kababish
Date 1925-01-01 - 1925-12-31
Rules The board is a square spiral of any number of spaces. Each player begins with one piece. Three casting sticks, each with a round and a flat side, are used as dice. The throws are as follows: One flat side up = 1; two flat sides up = 2; three flat sides up = 4, zero flat sides up = 6. The pieces begin on the outer end of the track, and must throw a 1 to begin play. Once a player has left the starting spot, they move according to the throws, except on throws of 1, which are tabulated for use later. Players continue to throw until they throw 2. Players must land on the last space of the track, I.e. at the center of the spiral, by an exact throw, and may use one of their accumulated throws of 1 if a 1 is required. The player must then roll 1 five times before leaving this space and proceeding back to the starting point. Accumulated rolls of 1 may be used for this. If the player must wait, they may accumulate individual throws of 2, 4, or 6 to use later. The first player to reach the starting space by an exact throw releases the hyena, which cannot move until 1 is thrown twice, or paid from the accumulated throws. The hyena proceeds along the track in the same manner, but moving twice the value of each throw. When the hyena reaches the end of the track, it must throw or pay 1 ten times. The hyena captures any piece it overtakes on the return to the starting space, eliminating that player from the game.
Content " Li'b El Merafib, or the Hyaena Game (Kababish) The hyaena game is both more ingenious and more amusing than any race game played with dice by English children which I have seen. The dice consist of three pieces of split stick, each about six inches long, on which the bark has been left, so that each stick has one rounded green surface and on flat white one. The three sticks are thrown up and may fall:— Two green and one which, which is called a tâba, Two white and one gree, which is called yômên, Three white, which is called rabî', Three green, which is called séta. The board is made by scooping a spiral groove in the sane and making a random number of hollows along its course. The bigger the spiral, of course, the longer the game will last. Fig. 11 shows a board set for four players. The middle hollow X is the well. the hollow Y at the other end of the spiral, is the village. The sticks 1, 2, 3, 4 represent the mothers of the players. The following are the rules of play :— 1. The players throw the dice in turn, each player throwing time after time, during his turn, until he is brought to standstill by a throw of yômên, when he hands the dice to the next player. 2. A player has to throw a tâba to enable his mother to leave the village at all, just as in race games played by English children one must throw a six to start. 3. After she has left the village, a tâba having been thrown by her son, she moves two "days" (I.e. hollows) for a throw of yômín, four "days" for a rabî' and six for a séta. She does not move for a tâba, which is, however, marked down on the sand to the credit of the player, for a use which will appear presently. 4. a mother must reach the well exactly. Thus if she is an odd number of "days" away from it she will arrive one day short of it, and may then use one of her son's credit of tâbas to complete the journey. 5. At the well, she required two tâbas to drink, one to wash her clothes and two to come away with. If a player has not this number of tâbas to his credit, his mother has to wait until he has scored them. If she has to wait there, however, the player is allowed to mark down for later use any other scores of two, four, or six, which he may throw in the meantime. 6. On coming down from the well, the women make their way back, in the same manner, to the village, from which the first to arrive lets loose the hyaena. 7. The hyaena (represented by the player whose mother first arrived at the village) is enabled to leave it on payment of two tâbas, after which he moves towards the well at double rates, I.e. four " days" for a yômên, eight for a rabî', twelve for a séta. 8. Arrived at the well he is held up, for it costs him ten tâbas to drink and come away again. 9. on leaving the well he still moves at double rates and eats any woman whom he overtakes. He cannot eat before drinking. In this game, the hyaena may be said to be the winner, but there are degrees of defeat. The player whose mother gets eaten by the hyaena is rudely mocked by the one who manages to get the old lady safely back to the village." Davies 1925: 145-146.
Confidence 100
Source Davies, R. 1925. 'Some Arab Games and Puzzles.' Sudan Notes and Records. 8: 137–152.

     Contact Us

lkjh Maastricht University Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council