background Ludii Portal
Home of the Ludii General Game System


Part of the Digital Ludeme Project background    

Home Games Forum Downloads Tutorials Tournaments History World Map Team






Eastern Africa, Southern Africa


Board, Sow, Four rows.


Mefuhva is a four-row mancala-style board game played by the Venda people in South Africa. It is played by men on large boards or in hollows dug into the ground. Boards consist of four rows of six to twenty-eight holes; between sixteen to twenty is most common.


Two counters in each hole except the leftmost on the inner row, which is left empty, and the one to its right which contains one counter. Players sow by picking up the counters in any of their holes and sowing them in an anti-clockwise direction. Sowing continues when the last counter falls into an occupied hole by picking up the counters in that hole and continuing in the same direction. When the final counter lands in an empty hole in the inner row, the counters in the opponent's hole opposite in the inner row are captured; if there are also counters in the opponent's outer row opposite, these are also captured. The player is also entitled to capture counters in any other hole on the opponent's side. The turn ends with a capture and the opponent's turn begins. Play always begins with a stylized move, where the counters are taken from the third hole from the left in the inner row, sowing and making captures as described above. Players may not sow single counters unless there are no holes on their side containing multiple counters. Play ends when one player has captured all of their opponent's counters.

Stayt 1931: 364-366.


South Africa

Ludeme Description



Murray 1951: 211

Evidence Map

1 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Mefuvha 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:


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

Stayt, H. A. 1931. The Bavenda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




     Contact Us

lkjh Maastricht University
Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE)
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands
This project is funded by a 2m euro
ERC Consolidator Grant from the
European Research Council