| Played in: |
|Captures are taken out|
|7 holes per row|
Hawalis seems to be nowadays, except for some bizarre games from Yunnan (China), the only two-cycle, four-row mancala game found outside Africa. It is played in Oman. Although there are many Swahili speaking people, it is only played by the Arab speaking population.
There is some organized playing, including championships.
It is also described by Murray as played in Zanzibar, under the name bao kiarabu. This is a rather good name, as it means Arabic Board Game (where almost the only other board games known are mancala games, so it could be Arabic Mancala Game; also, the Arabic people living in Zanzibar came from Oman).
This game is very similar to some others played all around Bantu speaking Africa.
We play on a board made by four rows of seven holes. Each player controls the two rows closest to him.
At the beginning there are two stones in each hole.
Players take turns to move.
At your turn you take all the stones from a hole belonging to your side of the board, which contains two or more seeds, and sow them anti-clockwise (ie, you put one in each of the following holes, without skipping one, all around your two rows).
If the last stone lands in an occupied hole all these stones (the one just landed plus the ones that were already there) are taken up and you keep on sowing starting in the next hole.
If the last stone lands in an empty hole, the turn ends,
- But if this empty hole is in the inner row and the opposite hole of the opponent is occupied, the stones of this hole are captured by you and taken out of game. Once you have captured, you look at the hole on the back of the one captured. If it is also occupied, you take also all its stones out of game.
Only in the case all your non-empty holes have just one stone each you can start moving from them, but then you are not allowed to move such a stone to an occupied hole.
You win if you capture all the opponent's stones.
- Hyde, T.
- (1694) De Ludis Orientalibus Libri Duo, Oxford: 232.
- Ingrams, W. H.
- (1921) Zanzibar: Its History and its People, London: Frank Cass & Co.: 257.
- Murray, H. J. R.
- (1952) A History of Board-Games other than Chess, Oxford: Oxford University Press: 207-208.
- Romariz Santos Silva, E.
- (1995) Jogos de quadrícula do tipo mancala com especial incidência nos praticados em Angola, Lisboa.
- Voogt, A. J. de
- (2003) 'Hawalis in Oman: A first Account of Expertise and Dispersal of four-row Mancala in the Middle East', in Board Game Studies; 6: 95-98.