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Dama (Kenya) DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Africa

Category Board, War, Leaping, Orthogonal


Dama is the name of a game with leaping captures played in several parts of the world. This version is played on the coast of Kenya.


8x8 board. 16 pieces per player, lined up in the second and third rows (first row on each side is empty). Pieces move forward or horizontally one space, and capture opponents' pieces by jumping in these directions. When they reach the opposite side, they become a king and can jump opponents' pieces from any distance orthogonally. Captures must be taken if possible, and the maximum number of jumps must be made. In a situation where two pieces are able to make the maximum number of captures and one of them is a king, the king must make the captures. Multiple captures cannot be made by moving 180 degrees from the previous jump. Pieces can be promoted to king mid-jump. Winning is achieved by capturing all of the other player's pieces or by blocking them so they cannot move.

Townshend 1986: 106-108; 218-259.



Ludeme Description

Dama (Kenya).lud


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Townshend, P. 1986. Games in culture: A contextual analysis of the Swahili board game and its relevance to vaariation in African mankala. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.

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