Je ki n je

Je ki n je
First Description: Jordi
Climent Tondo, 2009
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
(Variant played with
single laps)
Region: Nigeria

Je ki n je, also spelled Jẹ́ kí ń jẹ (Yoruba for: "Let me eat!"), is played by the Yoruba in southern Nigeria. The following rules were reported from the ancient city of Ilé-Ifẹ̀, which dates back to roughly 500 AD.The game was first described by Jordi Climent Tondo (though incomplete and rather confusing) who learned it in Nigeria.


The game is played on a board of two rows with four seeds in each hole at the start of the game.


Initial Position

On his turn a player picks up the seeds of one of his holes and distributes them one by one into the ensuing holes.

If the last seed falls into an occupied hole, its contents are distributed in another lap.

A player must "feed" his opponent, if he hasn't anything left in his holes.

If the last seed is dropped into an empty hole on the opponent's side and the next hole is occupied, this singleton and the contents of the following hole are captured. A capture finishes the move. However, if the next hole is empty, the singleton isn't moved forward and the turn ends with nothing being captured.

The game ends, when a player cannot move at his turn or the board position repeats. The remaining seeds are awarded to the player who owns their holes.

The player who captured most seeds, wins the game.


Some people from Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and Òsogbo play the game with single laps, which leads to quite a different, slower and deeper game.

Although not mentioned it is probable that in this variant the emptied hole is skipped when 12 or more seeds are sown.

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