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Evidence for Fergen Gobale

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1208
Type Ethnography
Location 6°44'29.95"N, 44°15'43.61"E
Date 1971-01-01 - 1971-12-31
Rules 2x6 board, divided in half and joined in the center with a single row of two holes. From the left, Five, five, three, three, five, and five counters in each hold of the double-row holes, four counters in the single row holes. Each player owns the row closest to them, but neither player controls the holes in the single row. Sowing begins from one of the holes in the player's row, and continues in an anti-clockwise direction. If the final counter lands in an occupied hole, these counters are picked up and sowing continues, unless the hole is in the single row, in which case the turn comes to an end. When the final counter falls in an empty hole in the player's row, the contents of the hole in the opponent's row adjacent to it are captured, along with the final counter of the sowing. However, if the hole from which the capture would be made contained three counters, these plus the final counter of the sowing are divided between the last hole of the sowing and the hole from whcih the capture would be made, i.e. two counters per each hole. The player then owns both of these holes, but cannot sow from them. The player also chooses at this point one of the holes in the single row to own, but the player still cannot begin sowing from it. Play continues until one player cannot play, and the players collect all of the counters from the holes they own. If one or both holes in the single row have not been claimed, the counters remain in them for the next round. The next round begins with the losing player filling as many holes in their row as possible, beginning from their left, according to the original starting number, including one of the central holes, if necessary. Any holes which cannot be filled to the correct starting number are eliminated from play, and the opponent matches the arrangement in their own holes that are opposite the ones the other player can fill. Any leftover counters owned by the loser of the previous round are placed one-by-one into their holes, beginning from the left. Play continues like this until one player cannot fill any holes.
Content "Fergen Gobale This game, also played by Abdul Khadir Haji Abdulahi, is said to be a relatively modern form of play developed from leyla gobale only in the last 10 or 15 years, and would appear to be unique in its irregular arrangement of holes and balls. Play is based on two double rows of holes joined by a single row of two holes in the middle, with five, three, and four balls in each hole in the following pattern. Each player, as in other games, owned one of the tow main rows, but the two central holes, unless captured in the method described below belonged to neither player. Play is fairly similar to leya gobale in as far as the opening moves are concerned. Each player would thus start somewhere on his own row by picking up the entire contents of that hole, never of course from one of the central holes which were neutral, and moving in an anti-clockwise direction, would distribute the balls in his hand into ensuing holes, picking up the contents of the hole in which his last counter dropped, unless this happened to be one of the central holes in which case his move would come to an end. On stopping in an empty hole on his own side the player would capture the contents, if any, of his opponent's opposite hole, putting it, as well as his own last counter, aside as his takings, unless the opposite hole held three balls, in which case they would be called leyla gobale and belong to the player who would then re-arrange them into two pairs of two. Having done this the player would automatically become the owner of one of the central holes, and would choose the one with the largest number of holes as his capture. Neither player could pick up balls from either leyla gobale or the central holes which would thus increase in balls as the play proceeded. Should one or both of the central holes remain uncaptured at the end of a round of play, i.e. when one of the players was no longer able to play because he was left without counters on his side, the contents of that hole or holes would be left there, thus constituting a prize for possible capture in the following round. The count down, as in leyla gobale, would be effected by the weaker player arranging his balls in his holes, in this case as far as possible in the same numerical arrangement as at the beginning of the first round or in roughly the same proportion. The stronger player would the put back exactly the same number of balls in his opposite holes. Should the weaker player be left with insufficient balls to fill all his holes, he would start filling such holes from his left, one counter to each hole, the holes to his right being accordingly closed down." Pankhurst 1971: 181.
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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