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Es-Sîg (Es-Sig)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Northern Africa

Category Board, Race, Reach


Es-Sîg is a race game played by women in Tunisia. It is one of a family of games where players attempt to reach Mecca, before the Ghoula, or witch, carries them back to start. The pieces are usually the women's wedding rings, and the Ghula is represented by a piece of coal.


7x7 board, with an extra square above the top left square of the grid. One piece per player. Four sticks, with one green side and one white side, used as dice. The throws are as follows: one white and three green = sîg, valued at 1; two white and two green = 0; three white and one green = 3; four white = 4; four green=6. Pieces begin off the board, moving onto the bottom right square, and proceed in a boustrophedon direction, moving upward in the rightmost column, then down the next to the left, until reaching the extra space in the top left of the board. A player must first throw sîg to begin moving. Players move according to the values of the throws. If a player lands on the top right square, they must throw sîg five times to escape it. If a player lands on the central square, they must throw sîg ten times to escape it. A player must also throw one sîg to escape each of the final three spaces. Once a player has escaped the final space, they control the Ghula. The Ghula has different values for the throws: one white = 2; two white = 5; three white = 0; four white = 4; four green =6. The ghula moves in the opposite direction of the pieces, and when it overcomes one of the opponent's pieces it drags them in the direction it moves, with the goal of dragging them to the start. The Ghula may move forward or backward on its turn along the track. The Ghula does not have to throw a sîg to escape any spaces. Play continues until all of the players escape the final space.

Ayoub 1991: 43-45.



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Ayoub, A. 1991. "100 jeux traditionnels du sud du Tunisie." in A. Ayoub and A. Louhichi (eds.), Jeu et sports en Mediterranée: actes du colloque de Carthage, 7-8-9 novembre 1989. Tunis: Alif, 13-54.

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