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Evidence for Selus (Massawa)

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1401
Type Ethnography
Location 15°36'28.30"N, 39°27'19.36"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 3x6 board, three counters per hole. Each player owns the row of holes closest to them, as well as the right half of the central row, with respect to their perspective. Sowing occurs from left to right in the player's complete row, right to left in the player's half of the central row, then continuing from right to left in the opponent's outer row, left to right in the opponent's holes in the central row, and then continuing as before into the player's outer row. Players sow from any of their holes, and when the final counter lands in an occupied hole, they pick up the contents and continue sowing. When the final counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. After the first turn, players may capture a hole when the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing three counters, increasing it to four. The counters in a captured hole cannot be sown, but when any player drops their final counter into it, two counters are captured from it. If the player captured counters from one of the holes that they had created, they begin sowing again from another of their turns, but if the capture was from a hole captured by the opponent, the turn ends. The leftmost holes in each player's row are special: a player may under no circumstance capture counters from this hole in their row, but may do so from the opponent's, gaining another turn when they do so. Play continues until all of the counters are captured or all of the counters are accumulated in captured holes. A new round begins. Players then collect the counters in their captured holes. They count their takings by filling their holes with three counters each as in the beginning, and the player would own every hole they could fill with three counters. If the player has two counters remaining, they also gain another hole and the opponent surrenders their extra counter. Play continues until one player cannot fill any holes.
Content "Gabata I. This game, based on three rows each of six rows (sic) with three balls per hole has similarities with Games 2 and 3 as reported from northern Tigre, and was played by Sagaye Gabra Michael, a student from Tigre brought up at Massawa now attending the Teachers' Training Institute at Asmara, who refers to it as selus. Players would move alternately, picking up the contents of any of their holes and distributing them in the manner described in Games 2 and 3. The procedure for capture was however entirely different. After the initial rearrangement of balls each player would be able to effect a capture, either on his own side of that of his opponent, by dropping the last ball in his hand into a hole containing three balls which were thus increased to four. A player could not pick up the contents of such a captured hole as from any ordinary hole, but could capture from it whenever he dropped the last ball there,, irrespectively of who had captured it or on whose side it lay. As long as such a hole contained balls the player would put aside two balls, the ball he dropped there and one he found there but should the hole become empty he would, as with weg hole in other games, take only one ball, I.e., the ball alighting there. A player thus "eating" from one of his holes he had captured was entitled to continue his move, but was not allowed to do so after taking from one of the holes captured by his opponent. The two left-hand corner holes, known as ayeni or "eye," had special significance (though not the same as in Games 2 and 3) for a player could not "eat" from the captured "eye" on his side, only from that of his opponent, after which he was entitled to continue his move. The round came to an end, as in Games 2 and 3, after which each player counted down the balls in the holes he had captured, as well as those he had "eatn."
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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