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Evidence for Mefuvha

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.649
Type Ethnography
Location Bavenda
Date 1931-01-01 - 1931-12-31
Rules 4x6-28 board; between sixteen to twenty is most common. Two counters in each hole except the leftmost on the inner row, which is left empty, and the one to its right which contains one counter. Players sow by picking up the counters in any of their holes and sowing them in an anti-clockwise direction. Sowing continues when the last counter falls into an occupied hole by picking up the counters in that hole and continuing in the same direction. When the final counter lands in an empty hole in the inner row, the counters in the opponent's hole opposite in the inner row are captured; if there are also counters in the opponent's outer row opposite, these are also captured. The player is also entitled to capture counters in any other hole on the opponent's side. The turn ends with a capture and the opponent's turn begins. Play always begins with a stylized move, where the counters are taken from the third hole from the left in the inner row, sowing and making captures as described above. Players may not sow single counters unless there are no holes on their side containing multiple counters. Play ends when one player has captured all of their opponent's counters.
Content "This game is played by men only, on a solid wooden board made from the trunk of a tree, in which four rows of square holes are cut out. At either end there may be two larger hollowed recesses which are used as receptacles for the counters. There are an equal even number of holes in each of the four rows. but there may be any number of holes from six to twenty-eight in a row, the usual number being between sixteen and twenty. Sometimes, instead of on a board, the game is played in little holes scooped out in the ground. There are two players, each man commanding two rows. Each starts by putting two stones or pips into each hole in his own two rows, except the left-hand hole of the front row, which is empty, and the adjoining hole into which he only puts one. The game represents a cattle raid and the stones are the cattle. The player who first removes all his opponent's stones is the winner. Some of the ejaculations, used to describe moves and positions, appear to be archaic words, and could not be explained by the players. Method of Play 1. The moves are made anti-clockwise, and there is a regular opening move which is always followed. 2. Stones are picked up from one hole and placed one in each following hole. If, however, the last stone does not fall in a vacant hole, the pile is picked ip and the stones again dropped, one at a time, in the following holes. This is repeated until eventually one stone ends in a vacant hole. A single move may entail many movements of stones around the two rows before a vacant hole is obtained. 3. When the counter finally comes to rest in a vacant hole in the front row the player shouts "Thuku!" a hit (onomatopoeic, implying that the shot has hit the mark). After achieving a thuku, the player removes all the stones in the hole immediately opposite and the hole behind it on his opponent's side; if there are no counters in the hole immediately opposite, he may not remove those behind and no hit is scored. 4. After scoring a thuku, the player is entitled to a forfeit, the thuro. He may take the contents of any hole on the opponent's side as his thuro. This ends the move, and the next player has a turn. 5. As long as any hole contains two or more counters no single stones may be removed. ... It is tabu to play this game after sunset, for fear that, by playing at cattle raiding after dark, a real raid might be provoked. During the rainy season is it tabu to use fruit pips as counters for fear that hail will fall instead of rain. ... Opening move: B. no. 3, two stones taken, one to No. 2, and to No. 1. Thuku! (I hit). Remove stones from No.6 and No.12 A. Thuro. Take stones from No. 10A. ..." Stayt 1931 (1968):364-366.
Confidence 100
Genders Male
Source Stayt, H. A. 1931. The Bavenda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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