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Leyla (Wegi)




Eastern Africa


Leyla is a teo-row mancala-stly game board played near Jigjiga, Ethiopia. It incolves the capturing of holes, into which counters accumulate.


2x6 board. Four counters in each hole. Sowing occurs in a clockwise direction. When the final counter of a sowing lands in an occupied hole, the contents of the hole are picked up and sowing continues. If this occupied hole is in the opponent's row and is made to contain four with the final counter, this hole and the one opposite it are captured, the counters remaining in the holes. Players may not sow from these holes. If on a subsequent turn the final counter of a sowing falls into an opponent's captured hole, one counter from the hole is captured, as well as the final counter of the sowing, and the turn ends. When the final counter of a sowing lands in an empty hole, the turn ends. Play continues until one of the players can no longer move, the opponent taking any remaining counters in free holes on their side of the board and each player taking the counters in their captured holes. A new round begins. Players attempt to fill their holes with four counters each. If a player has two extra counters, they may loan them to the other player, to be repaid when they can in a subsequent round. If a player has one extra counter, it is surrendered to the opponent. The player with more counter would only fill as many hole as the opponent is able to fill, retaining their extra counters for future rounds. Play continues until one player cannot fill any holes.

Pankhurst 1971: 182.


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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