Camera_98-10-15_003 Oct 15 1998 3:02AM


One of the favorite pastimes for older Ngoni, Tumbuka and Chewa 
men is playing Ncuwa (Chetumbuka) or Incuwa (Chichewa).  Variations 
of this game is palyed in almost every part of Africa and many parts 
of the world.  It has a differnet name in almost every language.  
Ncuwa is usually played on a board dug into the earth.  The game 
area has 132 holes arranged in four rows of 33 -- each side plays 
two rows.  Teams usually have at least two players, but it is not 
unusual for a couple of bystanders to weigh in with an opinion about 
the soundness of past, present and future moves, so the side 
discussions are often more livel and antimated than the game.  At 
the start of a game three stones or nuts are put in some of the 
holes.  The markers from a hole are select and moved counter-
clockwise around a side of the board.  Depending on how many 
markers are in the last hole the player may pickup the markers and 
continue and/or remove his opponent markers in a corresponding hole 
or must stop his turn.  The object is to remove your opponents 
markers from the board. This game is in Kafukule, Malawi.