background Ludii Portal
Home of the Ludii General Game System

   

Part of the Digital Ludeme Project background    

Home Games Forum Downloads Tutorials Tournaments History World Map Team


 
Evidence for Bao Kiswahili (East Africa)

3 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.643
Type Ethnography
Location Malawi
Date 1913-01-01 - 1913-12-31
Rules 4x8 board. The fourth hole from the right in the inner rows of each player is larger and square. Total of 64 counters. Starting position: in the inner row, the first four holes, number of counters from the right: 0; 2; 2; 6. Play begins with each player alternately introducing the remaining counters in their holes. Each is introduced in such a way as to capture an opponent's counters, by placing it into an occupied hole which is opposite one of the opponent's occupied inner-row holes. The opponent's counters are then captured and sown along the inner row from either the leftmost or rightmost hole. If the capture occurs in the rightmost or leftmost holes in the inner row, or the hole immediately adjacent to them in the inner row, the counters must be sown from the leftmost or rightmost hole (whichever is closest), and sown along the inner row. Captures on these subsequent sowings happen according to the same rules as in the second phase, with certain exceptions explained below. If no capture is available, a counter may be placed in any occupied hole in the inner hole except the square hole, and sows them in either direction. If the square hole is the only occupied hole in the inner row, the counter is placed there and the player sows only two seeds from it in either direction. Moves that start without a capture on the first sowing which end in the square hole stops there without further sowing. One all of the counters are introduced, second phase starts. Players move by sowing seeds from a player's holes. Sowing can happen in any direction, but must continue in that direction throughout the turn except in the special cases below. When the final counter of a sowing lands in a hole in the inner row and there are counters in the opponent's hole in the inner row opposite, these are captured. The captured counters are placed in the leftmost or rightmost hole of the inner row and sown along the inner row. The leftmost or rightmost hole is chosen based on which continues the sowing direction of the move that made the capture. If the capture occurs in the rightmost or leftmost holes in the inner row, or the hole immediately adjacent to them in the inner row, the counters must be sown from the leftmost or rightmost hole (whichever is closest), and sown along the inner row, even if this incurs a change of direction. If the final counter lands in an occupied hole and a capture is not possible, the counters are picked up and sowing continues. If the final counter lands in an empty hole, the turn ends. A player must make a capturing move on their initial sowing if it is available. If a capturing move is not possible on the first sowing, no captures can be made on subsequent sowings in that turn. The game is won when the opponent's inner row is cleared of counters.
Content "The Game is in Nyasaland almost exclusively by the Yaos, and even among them it is of recent importation. The game is played by two persons, a special board and 64 marbles or seeds being required. The board consists of a flat piece of wood...on one surface are four rows of shallow round holes (Inyumba), eight in each row or 32 in all. The "nyumba" are regularly placed so that from side to side there are four holes in each line. The fourth hole from the right of each player is in most boards made larger than the rest, often square instead of round, and is called the "village" (mji or musi). The traveling Yao makes his board after the fashion of the other games, i.e. by scooping out the requisite number of holes in any flat piece of ground, pebbles taking the place of the more correct seeds (nam or makomo). For the proper understanding of the play it is necessary to plan out the two opposing front rows into two squares of four holes, one at each end, and a rectangle of eight holes in the centre. The two holes at each end of each front line may for convenience be termed "reverse" and the four holes in each front line between them " optional." The object of the game is to take all the men from the opponent's front row. Definitions. The back rows are those nearest the player. The front rows are the two centre ones. Reverse holes are the last two at each end of the front rows. Optional holes are the remaining four of the first row, lying between the reverse holes and including the " village." Addition.-A player is said to "add" a man when, in commencing his turn, he puts one of the men in hand into a hole. Spreading.-A player is said to "spread" when he takes up all the men from a hole in one of his own rows and puts them seriatim in other holes as far as they will go, beginning with the hole next to that from which he is moving; the latter remains empty. Placing.-A player is said to "place" the men he takes from his opponent. One is put into each hole of his own front row, as in spreading, but beginning at one end. Arrival.-A player is said to "arrive" at a hole when he adds to that hole the last man of those which he is either spreading or placing. Opposition.-Is said to be taken, or to exist, when a player puts, or has, respectively, a man or men in a hole of his front row opposite to one in which his opponent has a man or men. Rules. I.-Each player plays in turn. II.-Each player has, at the commencement of the game, ten men in his front row and twenty-two in hand. III.-Of the ten men, six are in the village, and two in each of the two holes immediately to the (player's) right of the village. There is no opposition when the men are so placed. IV.- A man must be added at the commencement of each move, as long as any remain in hand, i.e., till all are on the board. V.-A man can only be added to a hole already occupied by one or more. VI.-A man must be added to a hole in opposition if there be one. VII. -A move ends when, in spreading or placing, a player arrives at an empty hole. He is then said to "lie" (kugona). VIII.-A man or men belonging to the opponent can only be taken (kulya) by adding a man to a hole already in opposition or by arriving at such a hole. IX.-In such circumstances the opponent's man or men must be taken and placed in accordance with Rules XII, XVI, XVIII, and XIX. X.-If no holes be in opposition at the commencement of a move, a man must be added to any hole in the front row containing one or more, and the resulting contents spread in either direction. Only two men may be taken and spread from the " village " under this rule, and then only if all other holes in the front row be empty. XI.-None of the opponent's men can be taken during a move commenced by adding to a hole not in opposition XII.-A man or men taken from an optional hole by adding may be placed from either end at the discretion of the player. XIII.-When no men remain in hand, the game proceeds by spreading the contents of any hole containing more than one man; if, in so spreading, the player arrives at a hole in opposition, he takes and places the opponent's man or men as before, and continues spreading or taking till he arrives at an empty hole, when the move ends. XIV. -No man can be taken during a move under the preceding rule unless the first spread arrives at a hole in opposition; otherwise the player continues spreading till stopped by arriving at an empty hole, but he must not take any of his opponent's men. XV. -A move must be continued till an empty hole is arrived at. Exception.-If in spreading or placing a player arrives at the village he has the option of discontinuing his move, provided that no men have been previously removed from the village and that it is not in opposition. XVI.-Men taken from the opponent must be placed in the front row. If more than eight men are taken from any hole the placing is continued along the back row in the reverse direction. XVII.-Similarly, spreading is continued from one row to another by proceeding along the new row in an opposite direction. XVIII.-A man or men taken from a reverse hole must be placed from the end hole of the same reverse. XIX.-The direction of moves in the front row-from left to right or from right to left-can only be altered by the preceding rule. So that a man or men taken from an optional hole by spreading or placing from right to left and so arriving at a hole in opposition, must be placed from the right-hand end, and vice versa. XX.-A player loses if, there being no men in hand, he has only single men in the holes." Sanderson 1913: 726-731.
Confidence 100

Id DLP.Evidence.1166
Type Ethnography
Location 2°16'5.43"S, 40°54'5.58"E
Date 1978-08-01 - 1980-03-01
Rules 4x8 board. The fourth hole from the right in the inner rows of each player is larger and square. Total of 64 counters. Starting position: in the inner row, the first four holes, number of counters from the right: 0; 2; 2; 6. Play begins with each player alternately introducing the remaining counters in their holes. Each is introduced in such a way as to capture an opponent's counters, by placing it into an occupied hole which is opposite one of the opponent's occupied inner-row holes. The opponent's counters are then captured and sown along the inner row from either the leftmost or rightmost hole. If the capture occurs in the rightmost or leftmost holes in the inner row, or the hole immediately adjacent to them in the inner row, the counters must be sown from the leftmost or rightmost hole (whichever is closest), and sown along the inner row. Captures on these subsequent sowings happen according to the same rules as in the second phase, with certain exceptions explained below. If no capture is available, a counter may be placed in any occupied hole in the inner hole except the square hole, and sows them in either direction. If the square hole is the only occupied hole in the inner row, the counter is placed there and the player sows only two seeds from it in either direction. If a loaded square hole is reduced to six counters, the player places a counter there and sows the entire contents, forfeiting the special status fo this hole for the rest of the game. Moves that start without a capture on the first sowing which end in the square hole stops there without further sowing. Sowing cannot start from a square hole except to capture, except as described above. If a sowing from an initial capturing move ends in an occupied square hole and no capture is possible, the player may choose to stop there or continue to sow. Once the contents of this hole have been relayed or captured the square hole loses its special status and the player may not introduce a counter into hole with one counter if there are other holes in the inner row containing multiple counters. One all of the counters are introduced, second phase starts. Players move by sowing seeds from a player's holes. Sowing can happen in any direction, but must continue in that direction throughout the turn except in the special cases below. When the final counter of a sowing lands in a hole in the inner row and there are counters in the opponent's hole in the inner row opposite, these are captured. The captured counters are placed in the leftmost or rightmost hole of the inner row and sown along the inner row. The leftmost or rightmost hole is chosen based on which continues the sowing direction of the move that made the capture. If the capture occurs in the rightmost or leftmost holes in the inner row, or the hole immediately adjacent to them in the inner row, the counters must be sown from the leftmost or rightmost hole (whichever is closest), and sown along the inner row, even if this incurs a change of direction. If the final counter lands in an occupied hole and a capture is not possible, the counters are picked up and sowing continues. If the final counter lands in an empty hole, the turn ends. A player must make a capturing move on their initial sowing if it is available. If a capturing move is not possible on the first sowing, no captures can be made on subsequent sowings in that turn. The game is won when the opponent's inner row is cleared of counters.
Content Extensive ethnography of Bao Kiswahili in Lamu, Kenya, including the rules, its social import, and relationship to other mancala games. Townshend 1986.
Confidence 100
Ages All
Social status All
Spaces Inside
Genders All

Id DLP.Evidence.1167
Type Ethnography
Location Grande Comore Anjouan
Date 2018-06-01 - 2018-06-30
Content "Mraha wa tso is a popular game on Grande Comore...and Anjouan (Ian Tattersall, pers.comm 2019).Contrary to the other regions in which Bao is found, it is absent or at least uncommon in the main city, in this case Moroni. Instead, many villages were seen to have a board owned by the community. The board was often found near the local mosque or central square (see Photo 1a). On late afternoons, players would gather to play and take turns, the loser of a game usually giving up his seat. Teenage boys would only play when the men were absent. No women were seen to play and privately-owned boards were rare. In one village, Foumbouni, it was considered inappropriate to play on the public square during Ramadhan but some players of this village who happened to have a privately-owned board were happy to demonstrate a few games on a bench near their house (see Photo 1b). The wooden boards always showed four rows of holes but the characteristic square holes in the center of the board were not always present. Also, storage holes were only optionally found on the far end of the board (see Photo 1c). The players used Caesalpinia bon- duc seeds like the ones used by players of Bao elsewhere on the East African coast. The rules of the game have been described in detail by de Villeneuve(2003:8–19) but they are notoriously complex to describe in full (see Town- shend 1986; de Voogt 1995:35–43). The rules on Grande Comore did not differ significantly from those attested, for instance, on Madagascar, Zanz- ibar, or those known for Tanzania and Kenya. Some specific variations can be attested that often have to do with the level of the player or the circum- stances of play. For instance, the complex rule known in Swahili as takasia (Townshend 1986:118, de Voogt 1995:41–43) was only vaguely familiar to most and did not have a name. Only one expert player was able to give some details about its application in the game. Endless moves (see Kro- nenburg, Donkers & de Voogt 2006) were a loss for the player who started one, according to one player, but this would be a difficult rule to enforce. In another instance, a player allowed the return of a takasa move (a move without capture) if a player still had one seed in hand, but only in friendly matches." de Voogt 2019: 2-3.
Confidence 100
Ages Adolescent
Spaces Outside
Genders Male

     Contact Us
     ludii.games@gmail.com
     cameron.browne@maastrichtuniversity.nl

lkjh Maastricht University
Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE)
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands
This project is funded by a 2m euro
ERC Consolidator Grant from the
European Research Council