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Evidence for Mweso

2 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.677
Type Ethnography
Location Buganda
Date 1912-01-01 - 1912-12-31
Rules 4x8 board. 32 counters per player. Players may arrange the counters however they like in their holes. Players sow by taking the counters from one of their holes and dropping them one by one in an anti-clockwise direction only in the two rows closest to them. When the last counter lands in an empty hole, the turn is over. When the last counter falls into an occupied hole, the contents of this hole are picked up and sowing continues. If the final counter falls into an occupied hole in the inner row, and the two holes opposite it in the opponent's rows are occupied, the counters in these two rows of the opponent are taken. They are then sown on the player's side of the board beginning from the hole that received the first counter of the sowing that led to the capture. Both of the opponent's holes must be occupied to capture. Clockwise sowing is allowed in certain circumstances. If a clockwise move from the four holes on the left hand side of the players board (i.e., the left two holes in the outer row or the left two hole in the inner row) can lead to a capture, a clockwise move is allowed. When capturing, the captured seeds made from such a move may also be sown in a clockwise direction if they lead to a capture, otherwise they must be sown in the normal direction. Sowing cannot occur with single counters. The player who can no longer move loses. A player may also win by capturing the counters at both ends of the opponent's rows in the same move.
Content "1. The Board. The board is divided into 32 squares arranged in four rows of eight. The players sit at the long sides of the board so that each has two rows of eight squares before him. 2. The Men. The game is played with 64 men, 32 for each player. 3. The object of the game: The object of the game is to capture all the opponent's men but the game stops when the opponent's men are so reduced in number that he cannot move, or when all the men are taken from the squares at both ends of each row in one move. This last coup is called "Nkutemye":—"I have cut your head off". 4. Commencement of the game. Before the game proper starts each player distributes his men four to each square in his first row. The object of this is to ensure that each player has the correct number of men. Having checked this each player proceeds to allot his men betweenthe sixteen squares on his own side of the board as best pleases him. There is no rule as to the number which may be placed in any square and any square may receive any number of men or none at all...In his own interest he will not place men in squares or rows one and to which are opposite to each other, as this is the position in which his opponent can take them 5. Choice of first move. With the Baganda this is a matter of mutual agreement and they do not usually bother to spin a coin or decide in any other arbitrary way. In second and subsequent games the loser always starts. 6. The move. A player moves by taking all the men which are in any one square (provided there are two or more) and distributing them one at a time to each successive square starting at the square next to the one vacated and moving in an anti-clockwise direction. It does not matter whether a square traversed by the hand is occupied or vacant - each square receives one man and no more. If the last man falls into a vacant square the move is finished, but if it falls into a square already occupied the move is relayed, i.e., the men in that square together with the one which has just arrived are taken up and distributed one at a time to each successive square, still moving in an anti-clockwise direction, and starting from the square on the anti-clockwise side of the square just vacated. (By anti-clockwise side of a square is meant the left hand side of a square in the second row or the right hand side of a square in the first row. if men are taken from the left hand end of the square of the second row the first man is dropped into the left hand end square of the first row. If taken from the right hand end square of the first row the first man is dropped into the right hand end square of the second row.) 7. Taking of opponent's men. If the last man of a player's move falls into a square in the second row which is occupied and if the two squares directly in line with it in the opponent's first and second rows are occupied the player takes whatever number of men are in those two squares and distributes them one at a time to each successive square, moving in an anti-clockwise direction, but starting from the square on the anti-clockwise side of the square on which own side of the board which he last left empty. If, when he has done this, the last man again falls into an occupied square which is opposite to two occupied squares of his opponent he takes whatever men are in those squares and distributes them in the same way, starting necessarily from the same square as previously, because that will again be the one in the anti-clockwise side of the square last left empty. He continues to repeat the operation so long as the requisite conditions prevail, i.e., his last man falls into an occupied square in line with two occupied squares of his opponent. If, however, his last man falls into an occupied square which is in line with two of his opponent's, only one of which or neither of which is occupied he just relays his move as provided under Rule 6. He continues taking and relaying until such time as his move finishes because his last man falls into an empty square. 8. Moving backwards. Moving backwards, i.e., in a clockwise direction, is only allowed in the following circumstances:- (a) It is only permissible to move backwards by starting from the two squares at the left hand end of the first row or the two squares at the left hand end of the second row row. (b) The move must immediately result in the taking of some opponent's men. The distribution of the men may be started from either side of the square last left empty, but in the case of a start from the square on the clockwise side of the empty square the move must immediately result in the taking of some more opponent's men. Having taken all the men possible by moving in a clockwise direction, the player continues his move in an anti-clockwise direction by starting to distribute the last lot of captured men from the square on the anti-clockwise side of the empty square, relaying where possible, and finishing when the last man falls into an empty square. Moving backwards is known as "Okutebuka"—"To go back." 9. Penalties: A player upsetting the board loses the game. There is no penalty for making a mistake in distributing men, but the mistake, if noticed, must be corrected. 10. Counting men. As a square may contain so many men that it is impossible to see at a glance how many there are, a player may at any time count the number of men in any square on either his own or his opponent's side of the board." Shackell 1934: 14-20.
Confidence 100
Source Shackell, R. 1934. "Mweso - The Board Game." Uganda Journal 2: 14-20.

Id DLP.Evidence.1306
Type Ethnography
Location Northern Teso Southern Teso Bunyoro
Date 1912-01-01 - 1912-12-31
Rules Four row board, pieces are sown, captures are made from opposite holes in the opponent's rows, a player wins by capturing all the opponent's pieces.
Content "If there is no work to be done and the charms of visiting are for the time palling, an unfailing resource is the game called in Luganda mweso, in Lunyoro okusora, and in Teso akileyisit. This game is almost universal in Africa in some form, and the board on which it is played gets but little rest in most villages. A smooth patch of ground, with the requisite holes dug, and with a surface of cow-dung to prevent crumbling, will answer the purpose as well as a board, except that it cannot be moved into the shade when the sun comes over the spot. The only other requisite the handful of black beans used as counters or men; these are distributed throughout the two rows of holes on each side of the board, and moved by gathering all in any one hole and dropping one into each of the succeeding holes until according to certain rather confusing rules the turn is ended. Under certain conditions the player can take all the men in the holes opposite to the one at which he conclides and distribute them on his own side of the board; the winner is the player who succeeds in capturing all his opponent's pieces." Kitching 1912: 227. Murray (1951: 199) incorrectly interprets this account as a two-row mancala game.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Source Kitching, A. 1912. On the Backwaters of the Nile. London: T. Fisher Urwin.

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