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Evidence for Lontu-Holo

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1677
Type Ethnography
Location Ndyuka
Date 1930-01-01 - 1930-12-31
Rules 2x6 board, with a store hole on either end. Four counters in each hole. Each player owns the six holes, three holes in each row, to their right. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction, and only in the holes belonging to the player. Play begins with a stylized opening move. The first player takes the counters from the holes in each of the row of holes closest to them, and places them in the central row of their holes in the further row. The counters from the hole next in the direction of sowing are then sown. The counters from the central hole in the further of the player's rows are then sown. When this is completed, the player takes the counters from the holes in the row closest to them, and holds them until the opponent performs the same sequence of moves on their side of the board. At this point, each player places the counters they are holding into any hole on the opponent's side of the board which contains counters. Players then alternate turns sowing pieces around their holes of the board. Sowing always skips the hole from which sowing began. When the final counter of a sowing causes a hole to contain four counters, these counters are placed on any hole on the opponent's side of the board that contains more than one counter. When a player has only single seeds in their holes, and the opponent is about to place counters in the player's holes, the opponent moves one of the player's counters into another hole containing one counter, thus making two, and places the counters from the opponent's side are placed there. The player who is able to place all of their counters on the opponent's side of the board wins.
Content "Instead of five cups in each of the two rows, the Djuka board has six in a row, although, like the Saramacca board, there are storage-cups at either end. Instead of the play being carried on with ten seeds in a cup, only four are placed in each...One of these, "lontu holo," is a game of elimination, won when one player has succeeded in passing all his seeds to his opponent...In playing the first of the Djuka forms mentioned above, the board is divided along the short axis, each player playing with two rows of three cups each (Fig. 3). As in the game last described, the holes must be " broken " before free play can begin, and this is done by means of various series of rather complicated sets of moves. Four of these formulae were taught me, but I know that there are many other ways of breaking the holes preparatory to play which I did not learn. It is not quite clear whether the etiquette of play demands that the second player break according to the same formula as is employed by the one who plays first, but in playing with the Djuka men it so happened that the same opening was always employed by my opponent as the one with which I opened, and I followed his method of breaking the holes. When two Djukas played together, this was also the case; it may have been, however, that this was done in order the better to teach the beginner. The first of these opening formulae is as follows: the designations will be those of the cups in Fig. 3. X takes the four seeds in cup 1, the four in 2, and the four in 3, and places them in 5, making sixteen seeds in this cup. The four seeds in 6 are then distributed one at a time, counter-clockwise, about the cups belonging to X, the cups being emptied. In this case, the seeds from 6 would go one each into 1, 2, 3 and 4. Cup 5 is next played, the sixteen seeds going about the portion of the board belonging to X two complete times and part of a third, ending at 3, so that 1, 2 and 3 have each four seeds. These are then lifted, and held until Y has played, when they are placed in one of Y's cups that contains one or more seeds-namely, c d," " e, or " f." The twelve seeds which player Y gives his opponent are then placed in cup 4, 5, or 6. After this, play is free, and will be discussed below...The principles of play which obtain, once the breaking of the holes is over and the players are free to play as they see fit, are simple. Each player in turn distributes his seeds about his half of the board, moving them in a counter-clockwise direction, leaving none, as he makes a play, in the cups from which the seeds for that move were taken, until all have been distributed. If the move ends in his depositing a counter in a cup in which there are three seeds-i.e. so that he makes a four-then these four seeds, and those in any continuous series of holes containing four seeds made in this play, are placed in one hole of the opponent's side of the board. The word for this is tapu (lit., to " stop " a hole), and as has been pointed out before, a cup that is empty, or that contains only one seed, cannot be topped-" no mu tapu wa," as the Bush-Negro phrases it. If a player has his remaining seeds distributed with no more than one in any one cup, then his opponent, if he is able to give him more counters, moves one seed into a cup in which there is already one seed, when those given are placed in this cup...The object of the game is to eliminate all seeds from one's own side of the board, and the game is won when a player's last four counters have been deposited in one of the cups belonging to his opponent." Herskovits 1932: 26-28.
Confidence 100
Source Herskovits, M. J. 1932. 'Wari in the New World.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 62: 23–37.

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