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Aw-li On-nam Ot-tjin (Ot-tjin, Play On-nam Fish, Fish)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Southeastern Asia

Category Board, Sow, Two rows


Aw-li On-nam Ot-tjin is a mancala-style game played in Borneo, documented among the Penihing people, but also claimed to be played by other groups of people throughout Borneo. It is typically played on a wooden board ("tu-tong ot-tjin") with two rows of 9 holes, with a larger hole at either end.


Play begins with each hole (except the large holes on the ends) holding 3 counters (usually seeds or stones), though 2 or 5 are also acceptable. A player picks up all of the counters in one of the holes on their side, depositing one in each consecutive hole in a counterclockwise manner. If the last counter is placed in a hole with one less than the original starting number of counters (thus making the number of counters equal to the starting number), the player "makes a fish" (ára ot-tjin) and captures the pieces in that hole. Sowing cannot begin from.a hole containing a single counter. Play continues until one player cannot play, at which point their opponent captures the remaining counters on the board. The player with the most captured counters wins. If both players have only single counters in their holes, they must play again.

Lumholtz 1920: 435-437.

These rules were taken from the Three Counters ruleset.

All Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Three Counters Played with three counters per hole.
Two Counters Played with two counters per hole.
Four Counters Played with four counters per hole.
Five Counters Played with five counters per hole.



Ludeme Description

Aw-li On-nam Ot-tjin.lud


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Lumholtz, C. 1920. Through Central Borneo: An Account of Two Years’ Travel in the Land of the Head-Hunters between the Years 1913 and 1917. Stockholm.

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