background Ludii Portal
Home of the Ludii General Game System


Home Games Forum Downloads References Concepts Contribute Tutorials Tournaments World Map Ludemes About

Gabata (Three Players) DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Africa


Gabata is a name that is widely used for different mancala-style games in the northern Horn of Africa. This game, played near Adwa, is a three-row game with three players.


Three players. One player controls a full row of six holes, which must be one of the outer rows, and the other two players each own two rows of three on the rest of the board. Play begins with three counters per hole. Sowing occurs in the following direction: from left to right in the outer row owned (or partly owned) by the player row, right to left in the player's half of the central row, proceeding to the opponent's outer row and sowing right to left, then left to right in the other opponent's part of the central row, then proceeding back to the outer row where the player began and proceeding as before. Sowing always begins from a player's own holes. When the last counter falls into an empty hole, the turn ends. If the last counter falls into an occupied hole, the contents of that hole are picked up and sowing continues. A hole is captured by dropping the last counter of a sowing into an opponent's hole which contains three counters, making it have four counters, and becomes a wegue. Captures cannot be made until after the original three counters placed in the holes at the beginning of the game have been moved. Once a wegue is created, the player cannot sow from it. When the final counter of a sowing lands in a wegue owned by the opponent, the player captures two counters from it. Play continues until all of the counters are captured or all of the counters are accumulated in wegue. A new round begins. Players then collect the counters in their captured holes. They count their takings by filling their holes with three counters each as in the beginning, and the player would own every hole they could fill with three counters. If the player has two counters remaining, they also gain another hole and the opponent surrenders their extra counter. At the end of play, if a player captures the opponent's single remaining hole as a wegue, the player captured three counters from it, leaving one for the opponent to continue to play. Play continues until one player cannot fill any holes.

Pankhurst 1971: 164.

Ludeme Description

Gabata (Three Players).lud


Browse all concepts for Gabata (Three Players) here.

Evidence Map

1 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Gabata (Three Players) here.

Click on any marker or highlighted region to view the evidence relating to it.
To view all regions, please select it from the category options below.

Evidence category:

Evidence coloured based on:

Map style:


Pankhurst, R. 1971. Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia Observer 14(3):154-206.



     Contact Us

lkjh Maastricht University Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council