Mancala World
Other Names: Awagagá
First Description: Harold
Courlander, 1943
Cycles: One
Ranks: Three
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Eritrea, Ethiopia

Sulus Aidi (also called Awagagá) is played by the Tigrinya people who live in the northern highlands of Ethiopia's Tigray province and the southern, central and northern parts of Eritrea. The game is related to Selus.


The board has 3x6 holes. Initially there are three seeds in each hole. Each player owns the row closest to him and the three holes of the central row at his right hand.


Initial Position

The first move is played simultaneously in a racing manner until both players have reached an empty hole.

The first player to reach an empty hole starts the second stage of the game, which is played turnwise.

Each move starts with a player emptying the contents of one of his holes that is not yet claimed by his opponent and then sowing its seeds one by one into the ensuing holes.

Direction of Sowing

If the last seed falls into an occupied hole other than a claimed one, the player takes up its contents and distributes these seeds in a new lap.

It is not permitted to pass a move unless a player has no legal move left.

The move ends if the last seed is dropped into an empty hole.

Holes are claimed when the last seed distributed falls into an opponent's hole of three, thus making four seeds. The creator owns this hole from now on and therefore marks it in a distinctive way.

Any seed falling into a claimed hole belongs to the hole's owner.

A hole can only be claimed after the original set-up has been destroyed, i.e. after the first move of a game. If, in the first move, the last seed makes four seeds, they are distributed in another lap.

The game ends when both players have no move left. Each player scores a point for each seed that has fallen into their claimed holes. The player with most points wins.


Courlander, H.
The Ethiopian Game of Gobeta. In: The Negro History Bulletin 1943; 7 (10): 21-23. -- Note: Awagagá was slightly misspelled in the Museum of Games' transcript.


© Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.