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Chisolo (Tshuba, Mchombwa, Msuo, Natatu)

Period(s)

Modern

Region(s)

Eastern Africa

Description

Chisolo is a four-row mancala-style board game played by the Ba-ile people in the early twentieth century.

Rules

4x7-10 board (seven most common). Three counters in each hole, except the leftmost four in the inner row which have, from right to left: 0-0-1-2. On the first turn, sowing occurs in a clockwise direction. On the second turn, the player may sow in either direction, but must continue in the chosen direction or the rest of the game. When the final counter lands in an empty hole in the inner row, the contents of the hole in the opponent's inner row are also captured. If there are also contents in the opponent's outer row hole opposite, these are also taken. When a capture is made, the player may then capture the counters in any one of the opponent's holes as well. If the final counter lands in an occupied hole, the player picks up these counters and continues sowing. If a player is losing, he may add six or seven counters to his holes. The opponent may do the same. If the opponent does not, the player may not add counters in the next game played. The player who captures all of the opponent's counters wins.

Smith and Dale 1920: 232-237.

These rules were taken from the Natatu ruleset.

All Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Natatu Most commoonly played rules observed by Smith and Dale.
One counter One counter in each hole.
Namudilakunze Captures only in the outer row.
Nambidi Two counters per hole.

Origin

Zambia

Reference

Murray 1951: 210.

Evidence Map

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Sources

Smith, E and A. Dale. 1920. The Ila-speaking Peoples of Northern Rhodesia. London: Macmillan.

Identifiers

DLP.Game.235

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