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Math Games

DARA
This game from Nigeria requires two players or teams.

Materials
In Nigeria this game is played with stones or sticks in the ground.

  • Sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Sheet of construction paper or light cardboard, 8 inches square
  • Marker
  • 2 kinds of counters, 12 for each player

To Make the Game Board:

1. Using a pencil and a ruler, draw a 5-inch by 6-inch rectangle on the construction paper or cardboard.

2. Divide the rectangle into a grid of 5 rows and 6 columns. Each of the 30 squares will measure one inch.

3. Go over the pencil lines with a marker.

To Play the Game:
In Nigeria Dara games last far into the night, as long as the moon shines brightly. Players try to "eat" their enemy, just as a lion eats its prey.

1. Each player or team takes turns putting a counter on the squares of the board until all 24 counters are on the board.

2. Each player takes a turn moving a counter into an adjacent empty square. Counters may be moved up, down, or sideways, but not diagonally.

3. When a player gets three counters in a row, they get to remove one of their opponent's counters. This is known as "eating" the enemy.

Special Rules:
1. Players may not have more than three counters in a row at any time.
2. A row made when placing the counters on the board in Step One does not count.
3. Only one counter at a time may be removed from an opponent, even if more than one row is formed by a move.

Winning the Game:
Good Dara players in Africa are highly regarded. Champions travel from village to village, challenging the local players. Secrets for playing the game are passed from generation to generation.

  • The game is won when your opponent can no longer make a row.

     

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