The Ethiopian Game of Gobeta:
Kwahilka Aitidikus

Harold Courlander

Negro History Bulletin, Washington, D.C., No. 7, Oct. 1943, pages 21-23.

Diagram 6

[Page 23] This is the beginner’s Gobeta. It is played by children of three or four, who later graduate to more elaborate forms of the game. Only one of the two hoards is used. One bean is placed in each of the nine pockets except the first, which has two. (See Diagram 6.) The play is strictly counter-clockwise, around the center pocket which never figures in the play even though a bean is placed there at the start. Starting at hole 1, the two beans are removed and distributed until the last bean falls. The play is approximately as in Abalalā, except that if the last bean falls in an empty pocket, the play continues from the next pocket having pieces in it. However, there is no objective in Kwahilka Aitiāikus. The player never wins any pieces. He just keeps on playing. The game is, in short, a kind of exercise in which the player gets his first taste of Gobeta.

Last update January 8, 2010