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Evidence for Mewelad

2 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1297
Type Ethnography
Location 15°32'57.40"N, 37°53'0.74"E 15°46'45.68"N, 38°26'55.28"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Four counters per hole. Play begins with a simultaneous racing move, where players attempt to be the first to drop the final counter of their sowing into an empty hole. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction. If the final counter falls into an occupied hole, these are picked up and sowing continues. If the final counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. At any time during the sowing, if a hole is made to contain four counters, the owner of the hole in which the four counters are located captures them, unless it is the final hole of the sowing, in which case the player who is sowing captures them. The captures happen immediately. If a player does not capture when they should have, and a subsequent sowing causes this hole to contain five counters, it becomes a Jen. Players can no longer capture from a Jen in the same manner as before. Captures are made from it when the final counter of a sowing lands in it, in which case the final counter and one counter from the Jen are captured by the player who is sowing. Play continues until a player can no longer move because there are no counters in their row, and the opponent captures the remaining counters. Players then count their pieces by placing four in each hole, and the player who has more than their original number takes ownership of one of the opponent's holes for every four counters more than the original number that have been taken. If no player took four more than the original, the player with three extra gets the hole, if each player has two extra the weaker player is given the two extra counters. Play then begins again as before. The game ends when one player owns all of the counters, and thus all of the holes. If toward then end of the game, when a player has been reduced to a single hole and it is captured by the opponent, the opponent captures the four counters involved in the capture. The hole remains in the possession of its owner, and is able to utilise any pieces falling into that hole on subsequent turns, but may also capture from this hole as though the hole had been captured by the opponent.
Content "Mewelad. This game, known in Tigrinya as the mewelad or "to give birth" variety of gabata, was also reported by Madhanee Gabre Heywat and Sultan Yimesgan in the Keren-Agordat area. Played once more on a two-row board with six holes per row and four balls per hole...The Western Ertirean variant is, howeverm apparently unique in that it often begins, like mewegae, with "racing" which is unknown to the lam waladach games found further south. After this initial gambit, which is, however, optional, the first player would begin by picking up the entire contents of any of the holes in his row, and then, always proceeding in an anti-clockwise direction, would drop the balls in his hand one by one into the ensuing holes, his own or his opponent's, lifting up the contents of the hole on which his last ball fell and stopping on ending his hand on an empty hole, whereupon it was the second player's turn to move. Captures, as in the other lam waladach games, were thereafter effected whenever a group of four balls were formed in any hole. Such groups of four balls would belong to the owner of the row, unless created by the dropping of the last ball in any hand, in which case they became the property of the player who thus made the group, irrespectively of on whose row this happened. Such an act terminated the player's move, after which it was the opponent's turn to play. both types of capture has to be effected fairly immediately after the creation of the group or groups of four; if this was not done, and subsequent play resulted in the increase of a group of balls from four to five balls, special penalty procedure, not foiund in other parts of Ethiopia, became operative. Whenever such holes containing five holes, known in Tigrinya as jen, were formed, the previous right to appropriate their contents was forfeited. In such circumstances either player alighting with the last ball in his hand on such a hole, irrespective of whose row it belonged to, effected a capture by taking a ball from that hole and would then put it aside, with the ball making the capture, as his takings. This act of capture, which is clearly reminiscent of that practiced in mewegae, was referred to as mejemetat. Should such a hole become empty the players' takings were limited to the ball ending there, but the system of putting aside two balls would be resumed whenever the hole filled again. The round would come to an end as soon as a player was no longer able to move for lack of any counters in his holes, at which time his opponent would appropriate the remaining balls on his side as his takings. The subsequent procedure for the counting down of balls and the commencement of an ensuing round was in the mewegae game earlier described." Pankhurst 1971: 168.
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.

Id DLP.Evidence.1298
Type Ethnography
Location Ansaba
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Four counters per hole. Play begins with a simultaneous racing move, where players attempt to be the first to drop the final counter of their sowing into an empty hole. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction. If the final counter falls into an occupied hole, these are picked up and sowing continues. If the final counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. At any time during the sowing, if a hole is made to contain four counters, the owner of the hole in which the four counters are located captures them, unless it is the final hole of the sowing, in which case the player who is sowing captures them. The captures happen immediately. If a player does not capture when they should have, and a subsequent sowing causes this hole to contain five counters, it becomes a Jen. Players can no longer capture from a Jen in the same manner as before. Captures are made from it when the final counter of a sowing lands in it, in which case the final counter and one counter from the Jen are captured by the player who is sowing. Play continues until a player can no longer move because there are no counters in their row, and the opponent captures the remaining counters. Players then count their pieces by placing four in each hole, and the player who has more than their original number takes ownership of one of the opponent's holes for every four counters more than the original number that have been taken. If no player took four more than the original, the player with three extra gets the hole, if each player has two extra the weaker player is given the two extra counters. Play then begins again as before. The game ends when one player owns all of the counters, and thus all of the holes. If toward then end of the game, when a player has been reduced to a single hole and it is captured by the opponent, the opponent captures the four counters involved in the capture. The hole remains in the possession of its owner, and is able to utilise any pieces falling into that hole on subsequent turns, but may also capture from this hole as though the hole had been captured by the opponent.
Content "Gabata III. This game, based on two rows each of six holes with four balls per hole, was played by Andom Takla Maryam is identical to Game 7, reported likewise for Western Eritrea." 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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