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Evidence for Gabata (Ansaba)

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1213
Type Ethnography
Location Ansaba
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Three counters in each hole. The players begin the game simultaneously sowing first from their rightmost hole, racing to be the first one to drop the last counter of a sowing into an empty hole. This player then begins the next phase where they alternate play. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction. When the final counter falls into an occupied hole, the contents of this hole are picked up and sowing continues. When the final counter lands into an empty hole in the row belonging to the player, the counters in the opposite hole belonging to the opponent are captured, and the counter that triggered the capture is moved to the following hole. This could trigger the further capture of more of the opponent's counters if the hole in which the counter is placed was empty and the opponent's opposite hole contains counters. If the hole is occupied, sowing continues. If the hole is empty and the opposite hole is unoccupied or it is one of the opponent's holes, sowing ends. When one player can no longer play because the holes on their side are empty, the opponent captures the remaining counters on the board. A new round begins. The losing player places three counters in each hole, beginning on the rightmost hole. If the player has remaining counters but cannot fill their holes with three, they must distribute the remainder to fill as many of the remaining holes as possible with at least one counter. The winning player from the previous round then matches this starting configuration, keeping any surplus for use in future rounds. Play continues until one player has one or zero counters, the opponent being the winner.
Content "This game based on two rows each of sic holes, with three balls per hole was reported by three Ansaba students of the Teachers' Training Institute at Asmara, Andom Takla Maryam, Isaq Habté and Yohannes Imar. This game, though played on two rows, follows the distinctive principles of Game 1. The two players, each starting from his extreme right hand hole this begin to play simultaneously, racing each other to be the first to reach an empty hole, the first to do so being the first to move in the ensuing stage of the game during which players move alternately. Captures, again as in Game 1, are effected whenever a player alights in one of his empty holes whereupon he captures the contents of his opponent's opposite hole, the piece effecting this capture being then moved on as part of the same move, and before the other player has a chance to play...When, in fact, at the end of the round, a player is left without counters in any of his holes the remaining counters, I.e. those on the opposite row, are appropriated by the owner of that row, a practice common in fact in most types of gabata. This game is, however, unusual in its procedure for starting the next or any subsequent round. The weaker player, I.e. the one with less counters, will start to refill his holes from the right. He will as far as he can place three balls in each hole, but being unable to do so in all, may place only two counters immediately to the left of his group or groups of three, and will if at all possible put single balls in one or more of the holes on the left, the objective being to have counters, if this can be done, in every hole. The more successful player will then refill his holes with an identical number of balls as his opponent, and will arrange them in the same manner, thus keeping aside the surplus balls in his possession for future use if needed, play continuing in this manner, round after round, until one of the players succeeds in monopolising at least all but one of the balls whereupon his opponent, unable to reoccupy a hole at the end of the round would be defeated." Pankhurst 1971: 169.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Genders Male
Source Pankhurst, R. 1971. Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia Observer 14(3):154-206.

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