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Bharhut, a square of 36 compartments or rooms, 6 being on each side, is drawn on the ground, with two players, or perhaps four, sitting on opposite sides of it. In the second room from the left, in the second row, one player has set up a twig like those used in the last Indian game. The even number of compartments shows, however, that the game cannot be one of the present class, which requires a central room; and there is nothing else to indicate the mode of playing it. The absence of shells or dice may point to a game resembling the Mandinka Chokō; if so, it is unknown in Ceylon at the present day, and in India also, as far as I could ascertain.
PANCHA KELIYA, 'The Five Game.'
This game is played on a peculiar bent diagram, only one compartment in width, which is cut on a board. The illustration
shows its shape. The name may be derived from one of the numbers thrown by the shells, or from the five Houses of Safety on it in which the counters cannot be attacked; but the Siga games just described also possess them. The main part of the diagram rises vertically from a horizontal base. At the point of junction there is a square marked by diagonals and termed a House (Ge); four others occur at bends in the diagram.
In any of these squares the counters are safe from attack. Each of the other plain squares is a Room (Kāmara), or Kaṭṭiya. The terminal square is known as Kenda-gē. The stations for counters not in play are marked by circles.
The game may be played by two, four, six, or eight players, but there are only two opposing sides, half the players being on each side. The play of both sides commences from opposite ends of the base line. Six counters termed Ittā, pl. Ittō, are used, three for each side, whatever the number of players may be. They are of a dāgaba shape, without tee or spire; and have grooves to represent the basal platforms. They are made of wood and covered with lac.
Six yellow cowries, usually filled with lead, are used as dice. They are placed in a half-coconut shell, the mouth is covered by the hand, and after a slight shaking they are emptied out onto a mat without reversing the coconut-shell. The counting is as follows:-When all the mouths are upward it counts 6; if five be upward it counts 5, and is called Pancha; two, three, or four mouths upward count 2, 3, or 4, respectively; one mouth upward counts 1, called Onḍuwa; and when no mouths are upward it counts o, and is called Bokka. For the other numbers the ordinary Sinhalese words are used.
To admit each Itta into the board a player must throw 6, 5, or 1. After each of these numbers has been thrown the player has an additional throw, which is repeated as long as he continues to throw any one of them. The counter or Ittā then moves up the line of squares to the full extent of the total throws; or the score of each throw may be used for each Itta of that player; it cannot be subdivided. To go out of the last square, termed to 'land' (goḍa-yanawa), exactly one more than the number of squares up to and including the Kenda-ge, must be thrown. An Itta is 'cut' out only when the opponent's Itta enters the same Kāmara or blank square.
Sometimes the Ittō are made of pieces of coconut, kaju-nut, or areka-nut, and are eaten at the conclusion of the game, being then termed 'Dogs'; they do not receive this name while they are used in the game.
PAHADA KELIYA,' the Race Game' (from Skt. pra, ' forward' +syad,' running ').
This is the Sinhalese form of the Indian game called Pachis, twenty-five.' It is always played on a diagram worked on a cloth, and known as Pahaḍa-peta, which closely resembles that employed in Pachis (Fig. 264). It consists of a central blank square from the sides of which four arms forming a cross extend at right-angles, each having three rows of eight squares. Every square is called a House,' Ge, and those in the central rows are specially distinguished as Kāmara, ' room.' In all the squares the counters, which are termed Ittä, pl. Ittō, and are like those used in the last game, may be cut out or chopped,' excepting during their progress down the last central row, into the middle enclosure. To assist in counting the squares, little open crosses are marked on each outer corner square, and on the third and sixth from those, in the outer rows.
Two long dice called Kawaru or Kahuru, or sometimes incorrectly Pahaḍa lanu, the Pahada Strings,' are used; they are made of bone or ivory, and are 2 inches long and in. wide on each of the four sides. Both are marked alike, with small red circles having a central spot, arranged in the following order -A cross formed of four or seven circles in the middle counts I; three equidistant circles count 3; three equidistant pairs of circles count 6; and two pairs, one being near each end, count 4.
Some of the names of the numbers shown by the two dice when thrown are peculiar compounds of Sinhalese and Tamil. Thus II is dugā-deka; 1 + 3 is mūnḍu-onḍuwa, 'three-one' or nāļu-hatara, 'four-four'; 1 + 4 is anji-paha, 'five-five,' or paha-anjiya; I + 6 is āru-onḍu-hata, ' six-one-seven'; 3 + 3 is iri-haya, six-lines'; and 4 + 3 is nālu-hata, 'four-seven.' For the other scores the ordinary Sinhalese words are used.
Casting the dice, termed 'putting down' (damanawā), is done in a special manner. They are laid side by side across the fingers of the open hand, one end resting on the fore-finger, beyond the last joint, and are held in place by the thumb. The hand is then reversed, and they are thrown down sharply in the angle between the player's partner and the latter's righthand opponent.
There are two sides in the game, each having two or four players, who throw the dice, and score, in turn, towards the right. When four play, each person has four dāgaba-shaped counters, eight belonging to each side; if eight play each has two of the counters. They are coloured red, yellow, black and green.
Pahaḍa Keliya differs from other similar games in having no senseless delay in getting the counters into play. As a preliminary, each player places a counter on the sixth and the seventh squares of the central row at his side of the board, when there are two or four players, and two others on the fifth square of the outer row on his right, on which one of the crosses 1 is marked; one of the last two stands outside the square. I have not seen a game played by eight persons; probably in that case the counters are deposited on the board in the same positions, one belonging to each person being in the central row, and one in the outer row. From these points they move forward at the commencement of the play. The outer counters are always moved first, in order to avoid being caught by the enemy, and also in order, if possible, to attack the enemy in front of them; the other two in the central row are safe from attack, and can wait there if necessary.
The scores of the two dice may be used separately for moving two counters at once; they cannot be subdivided, but they may be added together so as to bring a single counter out of the opponent's way, or attack him. There is no delay or payment at the re-entry of a chopped' counter; it moves at once from the central square up the middle row and onward to the right round the outer rows, to the full extent of any throw of one or both dice. There are no double throws of the dice, whatever number fall.
The opponent's counters are chopped' when the score of a player's throw brings his counter or counters into their squares. They may jump over the enemy's counters-though this is inadvisable, as it renders them liable to be chopped' at his next move-or over the other counters belonging to their own side, with the exception mentioned below when in
Of this game; not those on the Pachis diagram.
the last outer row of squares, and several may enter the same square.
The counters move to the right of the players, who are seated at the ends of the arms of the board, along the outer rows of squares, and finally down the middle row from which they started, being then placed on their sides. To enable them to enter the central space the exact number required must be thrown, that is, one more than the number necessary to bring the counter into the last kāmara. When once inside this last row they are safe, but getting into it is often difficult.
I now come to the special feature of the Sinhalese game. I shall assume that, as usual, there are four players. When the first of the two partners has got his counters up to the last three squares in which they can be attacked by the enemy, prior to moving down the final central row, he cannot proceed any further if his partner have any counters following him until two of these are brought up to his assistance. It is evident that for this to happen his counters must have got in front of those of his partner, either by longer moves or because, as nearly invariably occurs, the latter have been chopped' and have re-entered behind him.
When he is in this position in the above-noted squares the partner must get two counters into the square at the beginning of the last outer row (at the end of which the obstructed counters are waiting), where they are said to have the foot tied,' (aḍiya baendā). Out of this square they must move simultaneously, that is, they can only leave it when their owner throws 2 ones, 2 threes, 2 fours, or 2 sixes. As they are not now allowed to enter the squares of the waiting counters a throw of 2 sixes sometimes cannot be utilised. After the partner has made this double throw, and taken his two counters out of the corner square, the waiting counters are released, and are now ready to move forward down the middle row of squares. Of course the delay gives the opponents an opportunity of ' chopping' some of the counters. In one game that I watched the player who had first brought his counters round and was waiting to take them into the middle row of squares, lost the game because his partner was unable to come to his assistance