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Evidence for Saturankam

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1399
Type Ethnography
Location Sri Lanka
Date 1909-01-01 - 1909-12-31
Rules 9x9 board, with the central square of each side marked, as well as the central space of the board. Two to four players, each player with two pieces. Played with two four-sided dice, marked 1, 3, 4, 6. Throws may be divided as the players see fit between their pieces. Doubles allow another throw. Players start with their pieces on the marked square on their side of the board. Pieces move along a spiraling track, starting in an anti-clockwise direction around the outer edges of the board, then changing to a clockwise direction when reaching the 32nd space in the track, and continuing in this direction in a spiral pattern until reaching the central square. If a player lands on a space occupied by an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is removed from the board, and the player must throw a double 1 to enter it again on their starting square,. Pieces resting on a marked space are safe from being sent to the start. The goal is to reach the central square, which must be reached by an exact throw. If a piece is 1, 3, or 4 spaces from the center, the player must throw doubles of that number to reach the goal.
Content "Saturankam or Chaturanga. This game as played in Ceylon and Southern India is called Siga by the Indian Arabs and Muhammadans; but it is a totally different game from the Siga of Arabia. It is played by Sinhalese and Tamils on a board of 81 squares, 9 being ion each side. The middle square (katti) of each side, and the central square (tachi) are marked by two diagonal lines. The plain squares are called kodu in Tamil or gaeta in Sinhalese. Two enormous hollow brass dice termed Kemadi are used for it; they have rounded edges and are of a peculiar shape, being 2 1/4 inches long, 1 1/14 inches wide in the middle, and narrow at each end, where they are less than half an inch wide. They are rolled between the palms and then along the table or floor. Each is marked thus, by holes through the shell, on the four sides. Each player has two barrel-shaped counters, called Topparei, with round tops on which is a little knob, one pair being coloured red and the other black. The game ay be played by two, three, or four persons, each one playing for himself, and beginning at one of the Katti; if there be two they sit on opposite sides of the board. The aim of each player is to get his counters to the central square. At the commencement, each player's counters are placed in the Katti on his side of the board. the players then roll the dice in turn. The numbers uppermost are added together, and the sum may be used as the distance for moving one counter, or it may be divided in any way for securing suitable moves for both. When both dice show the same number uppermost the player has an additional roll. No one can refuse to move his counters; one or both must be moved to the extent regulated by the dice if there be room for them. The counting goes round to the right, excluding the Katti from which the counters start. The arrows on the diagram show the direction taken by the counters of one side; those on the other sides move in the same manner. While in the crossed squared they are safe from attack, but in the plain ones it is the aim of the opponent to 'chop' them, as it is termed. This is done by passing over of his counters into or over their square, upon which they must begin afresh from the first Katti. To permit them to do this their owner must obtain two ones on the dice, even when only one counter is required to enter. This puts them into the first Katti, ready for moving onward at his next throw. For getting into the central Tachi, the exact number of pips required must be obtained; therefore it is advisable to bring the two counters up to it together, and not to pass one out before the other is close to it. When both are near it any score on the dice can be divided, so as possibly to enable both counters to pass out together, or one can be passed out alone, if necessary. A further difficulty arises owing to a rule that if the number required be 1 this figure must be obtained on both the dice at one roll, even when there is only one counter left. In the same manner both dice must show threes or fours for passing out either a single counter or both if they be only three or four squares off the centre. Up to this distance both counters pass out as easily as one." Parker 1909: 605-607.
Confidence 100
Spaces Inside
Source Parker, H. 1909. Ancient Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

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