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Lontu-Holo DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region South America

Category Board, Sow, Two rows


Lontu-Holo is a two-row mancala-style board game played by the Ndyuka people of Suriname. It is one of the only recorded games of this type where the goal is to capture the fewest number of counters.


2x6 board, with a store hole on either end. Four counters in each hole. Each player owns the six holes, three holes in each row, to their right. Sowing occurs in an anti-clockwise direction, and only in the holes belonging to the player. Play begins with a stylized opening move. The first player takes the counters from the holes in each of the row of holes closest to them, and places them in the central row of their holes in the further row. The counters from the hole next in the direction of sowing are then sown. The counters from the central hole in the further of the player's rows are then sown. When this is completed, the player takes the counters from the holes in the row closest to them, and holds them until the opponent performs the same sequence of moves on their side of the board. At this point, each player places the counters they are holding into any hole on the opponent's side of the board which contains more than one counter. Players then alternate turns sowing pieces around their holes of the board. Sowing always skips the hole from which sowing began. When the final counter of a sowing causes a hole to contain four counters, these counters are placed on any hole on the opponent's side of the board that contains more than one counter. When a player has only single seeds in their holes, and the opponent is about to place counters in the player's holes, the opponent moves one of the player's counters into another hole containing one counter, thus making two, and places the counters from the opponent's side are placed there. The player who is able to place all of their counters on the opponent's side of the board wins.

Herskovits 1932: 27-28.

These rules were taken from the Lontu Holo ruleset.

All Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Lontu Holo Rules for Lontu Holo.
Alternate Opening 1 Opening move where eight counters are placed in the opponent's holes.
Alternate Opening 2 Opening move which results in two heavily loaded holes for each player.
Alternate Opening 3 Opening move leaving all of the counters in the central holes of the players' rows.



Ludeme Description



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Murray 1951: 203-204.

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Herskovits, M. J. 1932. 'Wari in the New World.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 62: 23–37.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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