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Evidence for Kpo

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.678
Type Ethnography
Location Vai
Date 1896-01-01 - 1896-12-31
Rules 2x6 board with stores on either end. Four counters in each hole. Players sow in an anti-clockwise direction. When the last counter falls into a hole, and it now contains two or three counters, these are captured. VARIANT: 3 player: the game can be played with three players, one player with the first two holes in both rows, the next with the middle two rows in each row, and the last player with the final three holes in each row. The rules are the same except that three counters are placed in each hole at the beginning, and captures are made from the next hole in the direction of the sowing when the last counter causes a hole to contain two or three counters. Sowing may also occur in any direction. VARIANT: 4 player: The same rules as the 3 player variant except each player takes one half of a row as their holes.
Content "Prince Momolu Massaquoi, son of the King of the Vei tribe, described to me the manner of playing the game among the Vei. They all the game Kpo, a word having an explosive sound resembling a note of the xylophone, mimicking the noise made by the seeds or ivory balls with which the game is played when tossed into the holes on the board. The boards, which are made with twelve holes in two rows, with large holes at the ends., are called by the same name. The boards used by the chiefs are often very expensive, being made of ivory and ornamented with gold. He had seen boards which cost 20 slaves. The holes in the boards are called kpo sing or kpo kungo, kungo meaning . "cup." The game is usually played with sea beans, which grow on vines like the potato on the west coast, or by the chiefs with the before-mentioned ivory balls. These seeds are called kpo kunje, kunje meaning "seed." He identified a board from the Gaboon River as suitable for the game, although he said that much more elaborate ones, like those of the Liberian exhibit, were common. The depression in the middle of the board from the Gaboon River is intended to catch pieces that do not fall in the hole for which they are intended. Cheating is practiced, and to guard against it players must raise their arms and throw the pieces upon the board with some violence. Two, three, or four play. The game differs somewhat from that played in Syria and Egypt. A player may commence at any hole on his side. His play ends when the pieces first taken up are played. He wins when the number in the last hole is increased to two or three. He does not take those in the hole opposite. When two play, four beans are put in each hole, but when three or four play three beans are put in each hole. When two play, the pieces are dropped around in the same direction s in the Syrian game, but when three or four play they may be dropped in either direction. When two play, each player takes one side of the board; when three play, each takes four hole, two on each side, dividing the board transversely into three parts, and when four plat, each takes three holes. When two play, a winner takes only what he "kills" (fá); but when three or four play, when one completes two or three in a hole by this play, he takes those in the next hole forward. When a man takes a piece with one next to it, he uses his fingers to squeeze the pieces into his hand, the operation being called "squeezing" (boti), but this can only be done when one of the pieces is in one of the player's own cups and the other one or two in that of an opponent. Players sit crosslegged upon the ground. and when the chiefs play large numbers often assemble to watch them. I have given Prince Momolu's account somewhat in length, as several African travelers have declared the game incomprehensible to a white man." Culin 1896: 603-604.
Confidence 100
Source Culin, S. 1896. Mancala, the National Game of Africa. Washington: Government Printing Office.

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