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Nchuwa DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Africa

Category Board, Sow, Four rows


Nchuwa is a four-row mancala-style board game played by the Atonga people of central Africa during the early twentieth century.


4x6, 9, 12, or 15. Two counters in each hole. Players begin by sowing from the rightmost hole in the inner row, placing one counter in each of the first two holes, then picking up the counters from the next hole and continuing to sow until the next hole after the sowing is empty (this should be the hole from which the sowing began). Each player then takes two counters from any of the holes in their inner row and places them in any empty hole in the outer row. The player then captures the counters in the opponent's opposite holes. The player then removes the contents of any one of the opponent's holes. Once both players have done this, the main phase begins. Players move by sowing from any of the holes on their side of the board in an anti-clockwise direction. When the final counter lands in an occupied hole, these are picked up and sowing continues. When they fall into an empty hole, the sowing ends. If this hole is in the inner row, the contents of the opponent's opposite hole in the inner row are also taken. If there are also counters in the opponent's outer row opposite, these are also taken. The player may also capture the contents of any other hole in the inner or outer row. Single counters may be moved. The player who captures all of their opponent's counters wins.

Sanderson 1913: 734-735.

Ludeme Description



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Murray 1951: 209-210.

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

Sanderson, M. 1913. "Native Games of Central Africa." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 43: 726-736.

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