A Count and Capture Game from Haiti

Map of Haiti

This Count and Capture board was purchased by the Museum in 1981 at a Haitian outlet shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Although the Haitian shop owner indicated that he knew that the board was a gameboard, a sign above the display said hors d'oeuvre trays, and that was the purpose for which most customers bought one. According to the shop owner, almost no one recognized it as a gameboard.

This oval board (35cm long x 26.5cm wide x 3.5cm thick) has squared ends and sides that slant to the underside. The board is carved from mahogany, and the depressions are highlighted with a light color stain. The typical 2 rows of 6 depressions are in a circular pattern around the edge of the board, while the "stores" are in the center of the board.

Hatian board

How to play the game

While no printed instructions or counters were included with the board, the shop owner indicated that he thought the game was brought from Africa to Haiti. H.J.R. Murray, A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess, Oxford University Press, 1952, p. 201-202 confirms this and offers various modes of play similar to the game as played on other West Indian islands.

Last update February 5, 2010