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ber required must be thrown; and the counter having passed into it is out of the game, and is now called Palam, 'ripe-fruit.' The partners all of whose counters first become Palam are the winners. Thus in most respects the game resembles the Sinhalese Asi-keliya, which is evidently a variant of it.

PACHIS,' Twenty-five,' is the Indian form of the same game. Its Tamil name is Sokkaṭṭān (commonly pronounced in Colombo

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Shok'otan); or according to Winslow's Dictionary1 Soṛkēṭṭān or Sorkaṭṭān.

This popular Indian game may be played by two, three, or four persons, and twelve counters are used, called Kay in Tamil and Sar in Hindustāni; and also coloured red, yellow,

1 Evidently the compiler of this excellent Dictionary had a confused idea of the game; he describes it as 'Tick-tack, draughts, or Hindu Backgammon.'

black, and green, in sets of three. Blue being an unlucky colour is never used for counters in any game. If there be only two players each takes six counters. They are more or less dagaba-shaped, like those previously described.

The board, called Silei, the cloth,' in Tamil, is like that used for Pahaḍa Keliya, and is always worked on cloth or velvet (Fig. 264). Crosses are marked on the fifth outer squares from the central enclosure, and on the fourth squares of the middle rows. In these squares the counters cannot be ' struck' by the opponents; they are termed Chira. The ordinary squares are called 'House' (ghara, Hind., or viḍu, Tamil), and the central enclosure is the char-koni (Hind.), the Square.'

Six cowry shells are thrown as dice, after being shaken in the closed hands. The score is as follows:-When all the mouths are upward it counts 12, bārah; if five mouths be upward it is 25, pachis; if two, three, or four mouths be upward the score is 2, do; 3, tin; and 4, chār, respectively. If only one mouth be upward the score is 10, das; and when no mouth is upward it counts 6, choka.

Whenever 10 or 25 is thrown the player has another throw, and if at the second throw one of the same numbers fall it counts accordingly, that is, another 10 or 25. But if either of these numbers be thrown a third time consecutively nothing is counted, and this throw cancels the two previous throws of 10 or 25, the score of the whole three throws being now o. The right to have an additional throw would still remain, and the score would then begin afresh. There are also additional throws after 6 or 12 has fallen.

To begin the game, each player throws the shells in his turn in the right-hand order; until he obtains a 10 or 25 his counters cannot enter the board. Whenever either of these

two numbers is thrown it is called a win,' and an addition of I is made to the score. If the player have counters awaiting entry or re-entry at the time, this extra allowance must always be expended in paying for one of them, I being charged for the entry or re-entry of each counter. If all be in the game the extra I is added to the rest of the score; thus a throw of 10 is counted as 11, and 25 is reckoned as 26. Excepting that this extra I

may be used separately, the amount of each throw cannot be subdivided among different counters. In the case of the additional throw of the shells after a throw of 6, 10, 12, or 25, the amounts of the two throws may be used separately, without subdivision-either to bring a counter into an opponent's square so as to 'strike' his counters, and then move onward to the extent of the other part of the score; or the two parts may be employed in moving forward two counters.

The counters are not blocked as in Pahaḍa Keliya. As they pass down the middle row on their way into the central enclosure they are laid on their sides to distinguish them from counters that may be moving outwards. To enter the central enclosure the exact number required must be thrown. If the counter be in the last square this can only be obtained by throwing 10 or 25, the extra score of I which either of these receives being utilised for the purpose.

The variations in the four forms of what must have been originally one game are a proof of its antiquity. Even the two Sinhalese variants exhibit such changes that they must be many centuries old. It is possible that Asi Keliya may represent an older type of the game than Pachis.


These undoubtedly have been introduced into Ceylon by Europeans, probably the Dutch, who held the coast districts from 1655 to 1796.

The names of the cards are thus :-Diamonds are termed Ruyita or Ruwita; Hearts are Harta; Clubs are Kaelāēbara; and Spades are Iskōp,' scoop' or 'shovel.' The Ace is Āsiya ; the King is Rajjuruwō, a word with the same meaning; the Queen is Devin-unnansē, 'the Queen'; and the Knave is known as Poro, 'Axe-(man).' The others are called after

the number of pips on the face, as with us.

Only two games are usually played in the villages of the interior. One is 'Napoleon' or 'Nap,' which goes by the name of Paswāsi, 'Five-wins,' and is played as in England.

The name of the other game is Bēbī-kapanawā, ' Cutting the

Baby.' It is an extremely simple but exciting gambling game, over which considerable sums are lost and won.

A gambling party sit down at night on mats round a central cloth or mat in the middle of which is the pool,' and on which the cards are dealt, face upwards, to each player, after being shuffled and cut. Before each deal one person calls for any card he chooses to name, the right to do this of course passing round the players in turn. The person to whom this card is dealt becomes the winner of the pool.

On one occasion a carpenter employed by me joined a gambling party after getting his monthly pay, and when morning broke he had not only lost this money, but even the clothes on his back, which he was obliged to borrow from the winner until he could replace them. I have heard of ordinary villagers who have lost three hundred rupees in one night's play of this description, and been reduced to poverty. It is far from unusual for them to gamble away not only their money, but also their gardens, fields, and cattle, at this simple game. It is well known that the local headmen are the abettors of these gambling bouts. They always receive a substantial fee for ignoring them; this is more profitable than suppressing them.


These are included among the indoor amusements of the villagers of the interior. Among them are to be placed MAGIC SQUARES; but few understand them. The only one which I have seen was the arranging one hundred small stones in four rows, each containing four heaps. The sum of the stones in each line vertically, horizontally, and diagonally, in the four corner heaps, the central square of four heaps and the four corner squares, must amount to a quarter of the whole. The arrangement is this:

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of four numbers which yield a sum of 25. This is an irregular square; in the regular Magic Square no number is repeated. Probably these are also known in Ceylon.


A King and Queen wish to cross a river, but the only persons to row them over are a Hēnayā-māmā, 'a washerman,' and a Ridi-naendă, 'washer-woman,' who must also cross the river, but are of low caste. The single boat which is available for the purpose holds only two persons. The King and Queen must cross without one of them being left behind on the shore with one of the low-caste persons, as this would be kilutu, 'defilement,' for them. This will be avoided if the King can be rowed across by the man and the Queen by the woman.

The solution is very simple. The washerman first takes his wife across; he then returns and takes the King. Then he brings back his wife, who rows the Queen across, after which she returns for the washerman.

In another puzzle of the same kind three Leopards and three Goats must be taken across a river by a ferry-man whose boat only holds two besides himself. If the Goats be not left on both banks in excess of the Leopards the latter will eat them, and this must be avoided.

At first two Leopards are ferried over, and one of them is brought back. A Leopard and a Goat are then taken over. The two Leopards are then carried back, and the other two Goats are taken across. The man then returns twice for the three Leopards.

The number of simple Conundrums is almost countless, most of them being doubtless of Indian origin. All forms of Acrostics are practised also, but the commonest amusement of this kind among the villagers is found in what is termed Perali Basa, or Transposition of Letters, of which some examples have been given among the pre-Christian inscriptions.

Acrostics reached their limit in one consisting of a square of eighteen letters on each side, as given in Alwis's Introduction to the Sidat Sangarawa,' an early Sinhalese Grammar, p. 108. This acrostic was composed in 1786; it is so arranged that all

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