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Mlabalaba (Morabaraba, Umlabalaba, Meu)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Africa, Southern Africa

Category Board, Space, Line


Mlabalaba (more frequently known as Morabaraba) is an alignment game played in South Africa.


Three concentric squares, with lines connecting the corners and midpoints of the squares. Twelve pieces per player. In the first phase, players take turns placing pieces on an empty spot on the board. If they place three pieces so they are in a line, forming a "meul." they remove one of the opponent's pieces that is not in a "meul." Once all the pieces are placed, the second phase begins, in which players take turns moving one piece to an adjacent empty spot. When a "meul" is formed, the player removes one of the opponent's pieces that is not in a "meul." When one player is reduced to three pieces, they may move their pieces to any empty spot on the board. The player who reduces their opponent to two pieces wins.

Coertze 2002.


South Africa

Ludeme Description



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Coertze 2002.

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Coertze, R. 2002. 'Die bordspel Morabaraba—aard, verspreiding en herkoms.' Anthropology South Africa 25 (3/4): 55-70.

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