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Evidence for Gabata (Shoa and Adegrat)

3 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1215
Type Ethnography
Location 14°16'41.86"N, 39°27'38.21"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Four counters in each hole. The game begins with a stylised move. One player takes one counter from their rightmost hole, and holds in in their hand. They then take one counter from the next hole, moving in an anti-clockwise direction, and place it in the next hole. They then take a counter from the next hole after that, and placing it in the next hole, continuing until there is an alternating pattern of a hole with five counters followed by a hole with three counters. The original hole from which the first counter was taken will have four counters. The player will then place the first counter taken into the next hole in the opponent's row, causing it to hold four counters. This creates a weg, a hole captured by that player, which is involved in capturing (see below). Players alternate making this first move in subsequent rounds. The next phase begins once this stylised move is completed. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction.If the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing counters, these are piced up and sowing continues. A player's turn ends when the final counter falls into an empty hole. When the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing three counters, it creates a weg, and the turn ends. Players cannot sow from a weg they've captured. A player may capture counters from an opponent's weg when the final counter of a sowing falls into the opponent's weg on the player's turn. The final counter and one counter in the weg are captured. The player may then take the counters from any of their holes and sow from there. If a player cannot play, they must pass their turn, but may play again if this becomes possible in a subsequent turn. Play ends when there are no possible moves left on the board. Players then capture the counters in their wegs. A new round begins. The players fill as many of their holes with four counters as they are able. The player with more counters will capture as many holes from the opponent in which they can place four or more counters. If the player has three remaining counters after holes are filled with four, the opponent would cede their one remaining counter to the opponent to make four and the player captures one further hole. If there are two remaining, the players draw lots to determine which player owns the remaining hole. The player who played second in the previous round begins the new round with the same stylized move, and play continues as before after that. Play continues until one player owns no holes; the opponent wins.
Content "In the Adegrat area of eastern Tigré the following games were reported by Tetemké Mahari, a student of the Baeda Maryam School...Gabata II This game, which is basically similar to Games 5 and 6, is based on two rows each of six holes, with four balls per hole, is identical to Game 21 played in Central Ethiopia, to which the reader is referred. The special feature of this game which, as we shall see, is today perhaps the most widely diffused throughout the central provinces of Ethiopia, lies in the opening gambit whereby the first player to move would pick up and hold in his palm one of the balls in his extreme right hole, then, moving always in an anti-clockwise direction, he would pick up one ball from his opponent's opposite hole and place it in the next hole, and would proceed in this manner round the board, rearranging the counters in a 3, 5, 3, 5 pattern, until on reaching his opponent's right hand hole he would drop into it the ball in his hand, thereby increasing the contents of that hole from three to four balls. By this act he effected a capture, referred to in Tigrinya as wege'e whereupon his move would come to an end it would be his opponent's turn to play." Pankhurst 1971: 172-173.
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.1216
Type Ethnography
Location Shoa Gojam Begemder
Location 9°18'0.36"N, 42° 7'26.51"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Four counters in each hole. The game begins with a stylised move. One player takes one counter from their rightmost hole, and holds in in their hand. They then take one counter from the next hole, moving in an anti-clockwise direction, and place it in the next hole. They then take a counter from the next hole after that, and placing it in the next hole, continuing until there is an alternating pattern of a hole with five counters followed by a hole with three counters. The original hole from which the first counter was taken will have four counters. The player will then place the first counter taken into the next hole in the opponent's row, causing it to hold four counters. This creates a weg, a hole captured by that player, which is involved in capturing (see below). Players alternate making this first move in subsequent rounds. The next phase begins once this stylised move is completed. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction.If the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing counters, these are piced up and sowing continues. A player's turn ends when the final counter falls into an empty hole. When the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing three counters, it creates a weg, and the turn ends. Players cannot sow from a weg they've captured. A player may capture counters from an opponent's weg when the final counter of a sowing falls into the opponent's weg on the player's turn. The final counter and one counter in the weg are captured. The player may then take the counters from any of their holes and sow from there. If a player cannot play, they must pass their turn, but may play again if this becomes possible in a subsequent turn. Play ends when there are no possible moves left on the board. Players then capture the counters in their wegs. A new round begins. The players fill as many of their holes with four counters as they are able. The player with more counters will capture as many holes from the opponent in which they can place four or more counters. If the player has three remaining counters after holes are filled with four, the opponent would cede their one remaining counter to the opponent to make four and the player captures one further hole. If there are two remaining, the players draw lots to determine which player owns the remaining hole. The player who played second in the previous round begins the new round with the same stylized move, and play continues as before after that. Play continues until one player owns no holes; the opponent wins.
Content "Gabata II...merely a variant of gabata I based on the addition of a single though by no means unimportant opening gambit...After four balls have been placed in each of the holes, as in Game 20 the player begins operations in an entirely different manner. Thus instead of picking up the entire contents of any of his holes he takes only one counter, preferably from the hole on his extreme right. Then...he places this ball in his palm, and, moving in an anti-clockwise direction, he takes up a ball from his opponent's immediately opposing hole, and places it in the adjacent hole, continuing in this way-so that the contents of each hole alternate between three and five balls-until he reaches the last of his opponent's holes into which he places the counter he had originally palmed, thereby making a weg by increasing its contents from three to four balls. The first player in this game thus automatically captures a weg in his first round, doing so moreover in the location which, as we have seen, was the best possible one for such a capture. This victory, however, makes little difference to the final outcome of the game, for the players usually take turns every round as to whom should play first. After this initial gambit it is the second player's turn to move, and the game proceeds in exactly the same manner as in Game 20." Pankhurst 1971: 176-177.
Confidence 100
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.1294
Type Ethnography
Location 13°29'36.70"N, 39°27'56.70"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. Four counters in each hole. The game begins with a stylised move. One player takes one counter from their rightmost hole, and holds in in their hand. They then take one counter from the next hole, moving in an anti-clockwise direction, and place it in the next hole. They then take a counter from the next hole after that, and placing it in the next hole, continuing until there is an alternating pattern of a hole with five counters followed by a hole with three counters. The original hole from which the first counter was taken will have four counters. The player will then place the first counter taken into the next hole in the opponent's row, causing it to hold four counters. This creates a weg, a hole captured by that player, which is involved in capturing (see below). Players alternate making this first move in subsequent rounds. The next phase begins once this stylised move is completed. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction.If the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing counters, these are picked up and sowing continues. A player's turn ends when the final counter falls into an empty hole. When the final counter of a sowing falls into a hole containing three counters, it creates a weg, and the turn ends. Players cannot sow from a weg they've captured. A player may capture counters from an opponent's weg when the final counter of a sowing falls into the opponent's weg on the player's turn. The final counter and one counter in the weg are captured. The player may then take the counters from any of their holes and sow from there. If a player cannot play, they must pass their turn, but may play again if this becomes possible in a subsequent turn. Play ends when there are no possible moves left on the board. Players then capture the counters in their wegs. A new round begins. The players fill as many of their holes with four counters as they are able. The player with more counters will capture as many holes from the opponent in which they can place four or more counters. If the player has three remaining counters after holes are filled with four, the opponent would cede their one remaining counter to the opponent to make four and the player captures one further hole. If there are two remaining, the players draw lots to determine which player owns the remaining hole. The player who played second in the previous round begins the new round with the same stylized move, and play continues as before after that. Play continues until one player owns no holes; the opponent wins.
Content "Mengas. This game, known as mengas, literally "to be king," is also played on two rows each with six holes, with four balls per hole, and is basically similar to Games 5 and 6, but the question of which player should move first is determined by the shekut hand-play described above. The most distinctive aspect of play is, however, the first player'sm initial redistribution of balls in a three, five, three, five pattern to achieve an automatic weg. This game, as already pointed out, is today perhaps the commonest type of play throughout the central provinces of Ethiopia, and is more exhaustively discussed as Game 21." Pankhurst 1971: 173.
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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