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Eastern Africa


Hufesay is a two-row mancala-style board game played in the Maychew area of Ethiopia.


2x6 board. Four counters in each hole. Sowing proceeds in an anti-clockwise direction. When the final counter of a sowing lands in an occupied hole, the contents are picked up and sowing continues. When the final counter falls in an empty hole, the turn ends. If the empty hole is in the player's row, any counters in the opponent's opposite hole are captured. If a player cannot play, they pass their turn until they are able. The player who captures all of the counters wins. Players then count their pieces by p[lacing four in each hole, and the player who has more than their original number takes ownership of one of the opponent's holes for every four counters more than the original number that have been taken. If no player took four more than the original, the player with three extra gets the hole, if each player has two extra they draw lots to see who gets an extra hole. Play then begins again as before. Play continues until one player owns all of the holes.

Pankhursst 1971: 173-174.


Horn of Africa

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



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