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Evidence for Pancha Keliya

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1316
Type Ethnography
Location Sri Lanka
Date 1909-01-01 - 1909-12-31
Rules The board is a single track: nine squares along the bottom row. From the central space, a track of 25 spaces, which makes turns every five spaces. It begins vertically, then to the right, then vertical, then diagonallyup and to the left, then diagonallydown and to the left. The squares just before the track turns are marked with an "X." Three pieces per player. Moves are determined with six cowrie shells, the number of mouths which are face up determine the length of the move. 6, 5, and 1 give the player an additional throw. A player must throw a 6, 5, or 1 to enter a piece on the board. The players begin on opposite sides of the bottom row of squares. The score of each throw must be used in its entirety by one piece; it cannot be subdivided. When a player's piece lands on the same square as an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is sent back to the start. A piece resting on a marked square cannot be sent to start. To move off the board, a player must throw exactly one more than the number of spaces remaining in the track. The first player to remove all of their pieces from the board wins.
Content "Pancha Keliya, 'The Five Game.' This game is player on a peculiar bent diagram, only one compartment in width, which is cut on a board. The illustration shows its shape. The name may be derived from one of the numbers thrown by the shells, or from the five houses of safety on it in which the counters cannot be attacked...the main part of the diagram rises vertically from a horizontal base. At the point of junction there is a square marked by diagonals and termed a House (Ge); four others occur at bends in the diagram. In any of these squares the counters are safe from attack. Each of the other plain squares is a Room (Kamara) or Kattiya. The terminal square is known as Kenda-ge. The stations for counters not in play are marked by circles. The game may be played by two, four, six, or eight players, but there are only two opposing sides, half the players being on each side. Six counters termed Itta, pl. itto, are used, three for each side, whatever the number of players may be...Six yellow cowries, usually filled with lead, are used as dice...The counting is as follows:—When all the mouths are upward it counts 6; if five be upwar it counts 5, and is called Pancha; two, three, or four mouths count 2, 3, or 4, respectively; one mouth upward counts 1, called Onduwa; and when no mouths are upward it counts 0, and is called Bokka. For the other numbers the ordinary Sinhalese words are used. To admit each Itta into the board a player must throw 6, 5, or 1. After each of these numbers has been thrown the player has an additional throw, which is repeated as long as he continues to throw any one of them. The counter or Itta then moves up the line of squares to the full extent of the total throws; or the score of each throw may be used for each Itta of that player; it cannot be subdivided. To go out of the last square, termed to 'land' (goda-yanawa), exactly one more than the number of squares up to and including the Kenda-ge, must be thrown. An Itta is 'cut' out only when the opponent's Itta enters the same Kamara or blank square." Parker 1909:609-610.
Confidence 100
Spaces Inside
Source Parker, H. 1909. Ancient Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

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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