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Evidence for Choro (Lango)

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.711
Type Ethnography
Location Lango
Date 1927-01-01 - 1927-12-31
Rules 4x8 board. Two counters in each hole. Opening play: Two players play simultaneously, lifting and sowing counters from their outer rows. The game must begin from one of the rightmost two holes. Rules for sowing and capturing are the same as in the main phase of the game. The opening ends when both players reach an empty hole, and the first player to do so begins play in the main phase. Main phase: Play begins from any hole on the player's side of the board with counters in it. Singletons cannot move. Sowing happens in an anti-clockwise direction. If the last counter lands in an empty hole, the turn is over. For capturing: Holes are in 'opposition' when one player has the inner row hole occupied and the opponent has at least the opposite hole in the inner row occupied; if the outer row hole is also occupied it is also in opposition. However, if the opponent's inner row hole is empty and the outer row is occupied, it is not in opposition. If the last hole in a sowing falls into a hole that is is in opposition, the player takes the counters in the opponent's holes in opposition and places them in the outer row hole next to the hole from which the capture occurred. The player then sows the captured counters from this hole. If the capture is only of one counter, the contents of the appropriate outer row hole on the player's side are sown along with the one captured counter. Further captures in the sowing can occur in the same way. If a player can make a capture on the first sowing they must. Otherwise, they can choose any hole on their side to sow. However, each player has four holes from which clockwise plays can be made: the leftmost two holes in both the inner and outer rows. Clockwise moves can only be made from these holes if they immediately lead to a capture. When the captured counters are sown, they may, starting from the same hole, also be sown clockwise as long as they lead to a capture. If they cannot lead to a capture, they are sown anti-clockwise in the normal way from the outer row hole opposite the hole from which the capture was made. A player is not required to capture in a clockwise direction. If the last counter lands on a hole that is occupied but not in opposition, these counters are picked up and sowing continues. Play ends when one player captures all the opponent's counters or one player cannot play. The player who cannot play loses.
Content "Lango Variation. The Lango game is in principle the same, that is to say, the object is to capture the opponent's marbles or to leave him immobile in ones. But the code includes one important addition and several variations. (1) The opponent's marbles are en prise either if both holes opposite the player's are occupied or if only the hole of the front row. But if the opponent's front row hole is empty and there are marbles in the corresponding hole of the back row these are not en prise. (2) An incremented lap in a move does not begin at the starting hole of the previous lap, but at the hole opposite which the increment was taken—e.g., a player moving 4 marbles from b drops them in c,d,e,f, and opposite f takes an increment of 3 marbles fron GN. Under the Didinga code he would start dropping the three marbles at b, but under the Lango code he drops them at f,g,h. Should there be only a single marble however in the opponent's first row hole and none in the corresponding back row hole, this marble is taken up together with whatever marbles are in the player's corresponding hole and these are dropped singly from the next hole. hus in the last example supposing that instead of 3 marbles from GN the player took only 1 marble from G, he would add to this his own marbles from f and start dropping them from g onwards. (3) Whereas in the Didinga variant every move must be started by the player lifting a group of his own marbles and continuing the motion until he reaches a hole at which he stops, during the course of which he may have been in a position to capture some increment from his opponent: in this variant if the opponent's marbles are en prise, he must first take these and start dropping them at the hole opposite that from which they were taken, e.g., the player has a marble at f and his opponent is en prise at GN: the player must first take up the marbles from GN and drop them singly from f onwards and so continue the move in the usual manner. If more than one group of the opponent's marbles are en prise the player may choose the group which will be the most advantageous to himself. If none of the opponent's marbles is en prise the player starts his move in the same way as under the Didinga code. It is clear accordingly that in this variant a single marble in the front row may save the game even if all other marbles are taken, as it may ipso facto take any marbles in the hole opposite it. (4) The blocks of holes IJKL and ijkl form the turning bases of players A and B respectively. From these bases moves or laps may be played either clockwise or counter-clockwise, subject to the condition that a move or lap may only be played clockwise in order to take an increment which is en prise. After a lap played clockwise from the turning base, the marbles captured from the opponent may again be played clockwise from the same hole as originated the clockwise lap if their number suffices to take another increment, and this movement may continue as long as the captured marbles permit fresh increments. When no fresh increments are possible, the move must continue counterclockwise, starting from the hole opposite the last increment; but if during the course of the move the player on returning to the turning base finds another opportunity of taking his opponent's marbles by a clockwise lap, he is at liberty to do so. A player is not compelled to play clockwise even if an opponent's marbles are en prise in that direction, and it is sometimes a tactical gain to pass such an opportunity. The opening is played in the same way as in the Didinga variation, with the exception that the players must start either at aA or bB. Clockwise motion from the turning base is also permitted during the opening under the conditions described above. The opponent's marbles are never en prise to the player's back row." Driberg 1927b: 186-187.
Confidence 100
Source Driberg, J. 1927b. "The Game of Choro or Pereaüni." Man 26-27:186-189.

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