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La Dama DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Northern Africa

Category Board, War, Leaping, Lines


La Dama is a game with leaping captures played in the Canary Islands. This version is played in Puerto de la Cruz, in holes in the ground, with pebbles or shells as pieces. Graffiti found around the islands suggest that the game may have been played by the indigenous Guanche people. In making the game, people first draw a board similar to Alquerque, then they pecked the depressions to be used as the board on the intersections.


5x5 holes. Twelve pieces per player, which begin in the two rows closest to each player and in the two holes to the right of the central hole. The central hole remains empty.

Players alternate turns moving a piece to an empty adjacent hole sideways or forward diagonally or orthogonally. Unpromoted pieces cannot move or capture backwards. A player may capture an opponent's piece by hopping over it to an empty space immediately on the opposite side of it, in one of the allowed directions.

The huff rules applies: when a player does not make a capture that they should, the opponent removes the piece that should have captured.

When a piece reaches a corner space on the opposite side of the board from where it starts, it is promoted to Dama. The Dama can move and capture any distance orthogonally or diagonally, and may also move backwards.

The player who captures all of the opponent's pieces wins.

Espinel Cejas and González García 1994: 130-132.


Canary Islands

Ludeme Description

La Dama.lud


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Espinel Cejas, J. and D. González García. 1994. "'La Dama" y 'el perro', dos juegos de inteligencia tradicionales canarios." Tenique: Revista de Cultura Popular Canaria 2: 118-144.

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