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Evidence in Modern Egypt

6 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.729
Type Ethnography
Game Li'b al-Ghashim
Date 1860-01-01 - 1860-12-31
Content "One of the games most common among the Egyptians is that of the "mankalah." Two persons play at this, with a board (or two boards joined by hinges) in which are twelve hemispherical holes, called "buyoot" (plural of "beyt"}, in two equal rows ; and with seventy-two small shells, of the kind called cowries ; or as many pebbles : these, whether shells or pebbles, are termed the (in the singular, "hasweh"). To explain the game of the mankalah, I must distinguish the beyts of the board by letters, thus : - The beyts marked A, B, C, D, E, F, belong to one party; and the opposite six beyts to the other. One of the parties, when they are about to play the game in the most simple manner (for there are two modes of playing it), distributes all the unequally into the beyts ; generally putting at least four into each beyt. If they were distributed equally, there would be six in each beyt ; but this is seldom done ; for, in this case, he who plays first is sure to lose. The act of distributing the is called "tebweez." When one party is dissatisfied with the other's distribution of the he may turn the board round ; and then his adversary begins the game ; which is not the case otherwise. Supposing the party to whom belong the beyts A, B, C, D, E, F, commences the game, he takes the from beyt F, and distributes them to the beyts a, b, c, &c., one to each beyt ; and if there be enough to put in each of his adversary's six beyts, and more remain in his hand, he proceeds in the same manner to distribute them to his own beyts, in the order A, B, C, &c. ; and then,if he have still one or more remaining, to his adversary's beyts, as before, and so on. If the last beyt into which he has put a contain but one (having been empty before he put that in; for it may have been left empty at the first,) he ceases ; and his adversary plays : but if it contain two or four, he takes its contents, with those of the beyt opposite ; and if the last beyt contain two or four, and one or more of the preceding beyts also contain either of these numbers, no beyt with any other number intervening, he takes the contents of these preceding beyts also, with the contents of those opposite. If the last beyt into which he has put a contain (with this three, or five, or more, he takes these out, and goes on distributing them in the same manner as before ; for instance, if, in this case, the last beyt into which he has put a be D, he puts one from its contents into E, another into F, a third into a, and so on ; and thus he continues, until making the last beyt to contain but one stops him, or making it to contain two or four brings him gain, and makes it his adversary's tum to play. He always plays from beyt F, or, if that be empty, from the nearest beyt to it in his own row con- taining one or more When one party has more than a single in one or more of his beyts, and the other has none, the former is obliged to put one of his into the first of his adversary's beyts. I f only one remain on one side, and none on the other, that one is the property of the person on whose side it is. When the board is completely Cleared, each party counts the number of the he has taken ; and the one who has most reckons the excess of his above his .adversary's number as his gain. The gainer in one board begins to play the next board; his adversary having first distributed the When either party has made his suc- cessive gains amount to sixty, he has won the game.-In this manner, the game of the manl5-alah is played by young persons ; and hence this mode of playing it is called "the game of the ignorant" (" el-ghasheem ")..." Lane 1860: 344-346.
Confidence 100
Source Lane, E. W. 1836. An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. London: John Murray.

Id DLP.Evidence.789
Type Ethnography
Game Seega
Date 1825-01-01 - 1833-12-31
Rules 5x5, 7x7, or 9x9 board. Players begin by placing their pieces in prescribed spaces, and then alternating two-by-two in places as they see fit, except for the central space. Once all the spaces except the central one are filled, the first player moves a piece one space orthogonally to the empty space. Pieces are captured by surrounding them on either side by a player's own pieces. Multiple captures are allowed. The player to capture all of the opponent's pieces wins.
Content "Many of the felláheen of Egypt also frequently amuse themselves with a game called that of the " seega," which may be described in a few words. The seega employed in this game is different from that of the táb: it consists of a number of holes, generally made in the ground; most commonly, of five rows of five holes in each, or seven rows of seven in each, or nine rows of nine in each: the first kind is called the "khamsáwee seega ; " the second, the "seb'áwee ; " and the third, the "tis'áwee." A khamsáwee seega is here represented. The holes are called '"oyoon ''(or eyes, in the singular cc 'eyn "). In this seega, they are twenty-five in number. The players have each twelve "kelbs," similar to those used in the game of the tab.2, One of them places two of his kelbs in the 'eyns marked a, a : the other puts two of his in those marked 6, 6 : they then alternately place two kelbs in any of the 'eyns that they may choose, except the central 'eyn of the seega. All the 'eyns but the central one being thus occupied (most of the kelbs placed at random), the game is commenced. The party who begins moves one of his kelbs from a contiguous 'eyn into the central. The other party, if the 'eyn now made vacant be not next to any one of those occupied by his kelbs, desires his adversary to give him, or open to him, a way ; and the latter must do so, by removing, and thus losing, one of his own kelbs. This is also done on subsequent occasions, when required by similar circumstances. The aim of each party, after the first disposal of the kelbs, is to place any one of his kelbs in such a situation that there shall be, between it and another of his, one of his adversary's kelbs. This, by so doing, he takes ; and as long as he can immediately make another capture by such means, he does so, without allowing his adversary to move. --These are the only rules of the game. It will be remarked that, though most of the kelbs .are placed at random, foresight is requisite in the disposal of the remainder.-Several seegas have been cut upon the stones on the summit of the Great Pyramid, by Arabs who have served as guides to travellers." Lane 1836: 356-357.
Confidence 100
Source Lane, E. W. 1836. An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. London: John Murray.

Id DLP.Evidence.1251
Type Ethnography
Game Li'b al-'Aqil
Date 1836-01-01 - 1836-12-31
Rules 2x6 board. 72 counters are distributed unevenly into the holes with the only rule that corresponding holes on either side of the board must contain counters. The opponent moves first, but may flip the board around if they prefer that arrangement, sacrificing the first move. Counters are sowed in an anti-clockwise direction from a hole in the player's row. If the last counter falls into a hole making it odd, these are picked up and sowing continues. If it lands in a hole making it even, these counters are captured as are the ones in the opposite hole. If the previous hole also has an even number, these and the ones in the opposite hole are captured. If the last counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. If a player has no counters in their holes, the opponent must give them one counter, to be placed in the leftmost hole and played from there. Play ends when the board is cleared of counters. Each player counts the number of counters they captured. The player with more counters is given a score equal to the difference in the number of counters. Another round begins again exactly as before. The game is won when a player accumulates sixty points.
Content "Others generally play ion a different manner,which is termed "the game of the wise, or intelligent" ("leab el-'akil"), and which now must be described. The hasa are distributed in one or more beyts on one side, and in the corresponding beyt or beyts on the other side; commonly in four beyts on each side, leaving the two extreme beyts of each side vacant: or they are distributed in any other conventional manner; as, for instance, about half into beyt A and the remainder in beyt a. The person who distributes the hasa does not count how may he places in a beyt; and it is at his option whether he places them only in one beyt on each sixe, or in all the beyts. Should the other person object to his distribution, he may turn the board round; but in that case he forfeits his right of playing first. The person who plays first may begin from any one of his beyts; judging by his eye which will bring him the best fortune. He proceeds in the same manner as before described; putting one hasweh in each beyt; and taking in the same cases as in the former mode; and then the other plays. After the first gain, he counts the hasa in each of his beytsl and plays from that which will bring him the greatest advantage...The gain of one party after finishing one board is counted, as in the former mode, by the excess of the number he has take above the number acquireed by the other; and the first who makes his successive gains to amount to sixty wins the game...it is commonly played at the coffeeshops." Lanes 1836: 346.
Confidence 100
Source Lane, E. W. 1836. An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. London: John Murray.

Id DLP.Evidence.1423
Type Artifact
Game Tab
Date 1825-01-01 - 1833-12-31
Rules 4x7-15 (odd number only) board. One piece in each holes in the outer row. Four palm branches used as dice, with one side white and the other side yellow. The throws are equal to the number of white sides that fall up; when only yellow sides are up, the score is 6. When a player throws 1, 4, or 6, the player throws again. Players take turns throwing, until one throws 1, and that player begins to play. Play must begin with their rightmost piece. Each player moves in a boustrophedon path, from left to right in the row closest to them, right to left in the second row, and left to right in the third row. From there, the player may move again into the second row and continue as before, or move into the fourth row, proceeding from right to left, as long as at least one of the opponent's pieces remains there. The piece may enter the third row again upon reaching the end of the fourth row, but only when the player has either no pieces in their first row, or one group of pieces in the same spot (see below). When a piece has moved out of the fourth row, it may not enter it again during the game. When a player's piece lands in the same spot as another piece belonging to the player, the pieces may move as one piece. Upon throwing a 1, the player may use that 1 to separate the pieces again. If a move brings such a group into a row in which they have already passed through, they become single pieces again. When a player's piece lands on a space occupied by an opponent's, piece, the opponent's piece is captured. The player who captures all of the opponent's pieces wins.
Content Detailed description of the rules of Tab as observed by E.W. Lane in An Ccount of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, from his visits from 1825-1833. Lane 1836: 346-349.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Social status Non-Elite
Source Lane, E. W. 1836. An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. London: John Murray.

Id DLP.Evidence.1430
Type Ethnography
Game Tawula
Date 1951-01-01 - 1951-12-31
Rules The game is played on a board with twelve points on either side. The points form a continuous track in a horseshoe shape; both players progress in an anti-clockwise direction. Fifteen pieces per player, two six-sided dice. Each player begins with two pieces on the rightmost point on the opposite side of the board. Players move according to the number on each die by moving one piece the number on one die and other the number on the other die, or by moving one piece the total number of both die. Further pieces are entered based on the roll of the dice, the point after the one with the two pieces on it at the beginning being counted as the first point. When entering captured pieces, however, the point where the two pieces start is counted as the first point. The two pieces which start on the board cannot be moved until all of the remaining pieces have been entered on the board. No more than one piece may rest on a point on the first half of the board, except for the two which start and also on the leftmost point on the opposite side of the board from where the player sits. When a piece lands on a point occupied by an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is removed from the board and must be entered again. Players must enter captured pieces before continuing to move the other pieces on the board. When a piece is captured in the opponent's starting quadrant, a point must be left open or with only one piece, thus allowing the opponent to enter their piece. The player to move all of their pieces off the board wins.
Content "6.1.8. Asia Minor, Egypt: Tawula (...M. S. Kadri)." Account of Tawula from Egypt given to H.J.R. Murray by M.S. Kadri. Murray 1951: 116-117.
Confidence 100
Source Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1990
Type Contemporary rule description
Game Shatranj (Egypt)
Date 1683-01-01 - 1683-12-31
Rules 8x8 uncheckered board. Castling is done in the following sequence: the King is moved forward one square, then the Rook is moved , and the King is moved to the Rook's spot at the same time. Pawns cannot move two spaces on their first turn.
Content Account from I Campeggiamenti degli Scacchi by Francesco Pincenza: "In the city of Livorno in Tuscany there was a prisoner a Chiaus or Ambassador from the realm of Egypt who boasted that he was the first chess-player in the world. As I was urged by some of my friends, I went to play with him in the Baguo of that city...But in all this I was obliged to condescend to castle my King in the cursed African fashion, which is first to move him one square into the row of Pawns, and then another move, to move the Rook and at the self-same time to place the King on the Rook's square. In this way I continued to play, not only in this way but also with a Jew from Smyrna named Moses...The moves of the Pawn which these transmarines make are also different from ours, i.e. the Pawn cannot be played or pushed more than one square at a time." Murray 1913: 354.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Social status Elite
Genders Male
Source Murray, H. J. R. 1913. A History of Chess. London: Oxford University Press.

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