Younger Children have many little games that are similar to those played by western children. They play pretend house, school and market place, fly kites, skip rope, engage in variations on such games as marbles, patty cake, tag and hide and seek, and have a varriety of rhymes to figure out who is "it". Board and card games are played by older children and adults. In fact it is not uncommon to see a group of old men bickering over a party of "bullut" or talking smack as they take each other's peices in a desert version of checkers.

Hide and Seek.
This is quite similar to western versions. One person is chosen to be "it" he hides his head at the place that will also serve as home base while the other children hide. If they take too long the seeker may call out "ah neen?" are you ready? To which someone usually replys "ah nah", no. When they have finished hiding one will call out (muffling his voice to disguise his location) "ah neen a kookoorou" which is the signal to come and look for them. The seeker then tries to locate the hiden players while they seek an oportunities to jump out of hiding and race to home base before the seeker can tag them. If the seeker does locate people he still has to tag them on the head before they tag home base. The person he catches will be the next seeker. If he catches no one he is "it" again.

Guess Who
One person is chosen "it" and while on his knees bends over with his head to the ground so he cannot see. The other children gather around and hit him on the back. If he guesses erroniously whose hand is touching him everyone gives him a pound on the back and they try again. If he guesses correctly the person guessed becomes it.

Beery/bally (bones/no bones)
One person is caller and calls out beery-beery (bones-bones) and the others responsd beery (bones) or bally-bally (boneless-boneless) with the response bally. The caller then calls sets of a word followed by beery or bally. The respondants should quickly call back beery or bally depending on if the word is something in which bones would be found. The object for the caller is to call fast and catch the respondants in making an error saying. beery when they should say bally or vice versa. When two people play they simply take turns calling. When a group play each person who makes an error must quit the game until there is only one left. That person wins and takes over position as caller. A small example in English is as follows:

bones-bones bones
sheep-bones bones
steew-bones bones
rice - boneless boneless
bread-boneless boneless
cow-bones bones
milk-bones boneless (he caught it good job)
juice-boneless boneless
flour-boneless boneless
fish-boneless boneless (ah made a mistake your out)

In Timbuktu kare is played in the sand the players will simply carve hand-sized depressions for the squares of the "board". There are six spaces from left to right and five spaces front to back. Each player has twelve play peices. One player uses small twigs or peices of straw about three inches long and the other small stones, large seeds or peices of dried camel dung about the size of a pecan. Western players of these checkers style games could use a checkers board and simply mark off the area to be used and the use black and red peices for play. The play always starts with the sticks.

The player places a stick in one of the spaces. Play alternates until both players have placed all their pieces. Once all 24 peices are in play play continues by rearanging them. Pieces can be moved to any adjacent empty spot in any direction vertically or horizontaly but not diagonally. Stones places his piece last so sticks begins moving pieces. Moving a piece to an open square with the object to make three of his pieces in a row or block the opponent from forming a string of three. If a player succeeds in making a row of three s/he gets to choose one of the opponents pieces to remove from the board. Choose a piece that will either prevent the opponent from making a row or from blocking your sucess in making a row.

The game ends when one player has lost all his pieces or he can call the game if he recognizes that he will not be able to capture any of the opponents pieces.

Scoring: score can be kept for a series of games one point for each match won, two points if the match is won with the opponent not capturing any pieces.

Note: All 24 pieces must be placed on the board before any rearanging or capturing can be done. A row of three before pieces are all set does not count, you must have moved a piece into play. Thus initial placement of pieces should be made for the most advantageous potential plays. A row of more than three does not count; if you have ||_| and move a piece to |||| it is no good. Here is an example of what the board might look like after all pieces have been laid down.

"Simple Checkers"
The board is five by five spaces drawn on the ground. Sticks and stones are used as markers each player has twelve markers. pieces are set in two rows with the last two in the third row to the players right, leaving the centre space open. Play is straight a head or side to side no diagonals. Sticks start play, moving a piece forward or sideways to the empty square. play alternates and as in checkers you jump an opponents peice to remove it from the board. Backward motion by a pawn is permited only to jump, but queens can move freely back and forth side to side. A piece is queened by reaching the opposite side of the board. Game is won when opponent has no more pieces.

wally or kourh
There are many varriations to this game which is played in one form or another across west africa. Wooden game boards are carved in southern mali, senegal, guinea and other areas where trees are plentiful. The standard board has two parallel rows of six depressions with a larger pocket on each end. In the sandy north (or amongst poor children anywhere) small holes are carved in the ground. In this case the end pockets are left off (as they are in some smaller boards) and the number of holes dug is limited to the number needed for the given version. playing peices are usually large seeds or small stones, marbles also work well.

Version 1
Using only four holes in two parallels lines. At the beginning of play all holes contain four stones. The starting player (player A) collects the stones from one of his "houses" he drops one stone in each hole to the right of the now empty house. When he has deposited the last stone he collects all the stones from the house in which he deposited the last stone and continues. Player one ends his turn when he deposits his last stone in an empty house; or in a house already containing three stones so that he empties his hand creating four in the house. At this point any houses containing a set of four stones become his property.

Player B commences his turn choosing any of the houses on his side of the board. He drops his pieces in the holes moving to his left. If any hole was marked off as belonging to player A, Player B skips it. He also tries to end with holes containing sets of four.

Player A then takes his turn chossing the pieces in any of the houses that are not "private" on his side of the board to begin and moving counterclockwise, avoiding any houses belonging to B. On this turn he can put four pieces in each of the houses that are his (instead of the single piece he puts in the other holes). On all subsequent turns he adds only one piece to his houses as he passes them the same as to any other houses save the ones that belong to player B which he skips. If he has not enough pieces to add four to his house he adds the number he has and his turn ends there; he completes the addition on his next turn adding the standard one for that turn plus the remaining ones due from the first turn.

Player B does the same thing on his turns and when all pieces are in private houses, the set is over. Player with the most pieces wins the set.

The pieces are then taken returned to the houses in sets of four. If a player has not earned enough pieces to fill up all the houses on his side of the board those houses are out of play for the next set. The player who won extra pieces keeps them but can only use the houses on his side of the board. Play resumes as in the begining of the first set only any "lost" houses are skipped by both players. Game is ended when one player has lost all his houses.

The object is to get the most houses with sets of four and then to get the most pieces into those houses. Thus stratagies is to begin your turn with a house that has the number of marbles in it which will get you a set of four or will allow you to put as many peices in "your" houses as possible.

Version 2
Rules are exactly the same as in version one only you use two parallel rows of six houses. and sets of six pieces are placed in each house. In this version then the object is to get sets of six and on your second turn you can add six additional pieces to you houses.

Version 3
Using two parallel lines of six holes place four pieces in each hole. Play begins as with version one except both players move counter-clockwise. On the first turn of the first player no sets of four are possible. After that sets of four are collected and removed from the board. All houses remain in play. Players can only collect the set of four that fall on their side of the board or which they create by depositing the last piece in their hand regardless which side of the board. Any other set of four formed on the opponents side are collected by the opponent.

The collected pieces are placed in the end holes on boards that have them players having the hole to their right, or just held if no such holes exist. when only eight pieces remain on the board the next person to make a set of four collects all eight and that set is over. Player with the most pieces wins the set.

Pieces are returned to the board in sets of four. If one player has gained more pieces he gains control of the houses they fill. His additional houses must be contiguous to his own side of the board tacked on the end moving counterclockwise. Thereafter he can chose to use the pieces in those houses to start his turn and he collects any sets of four formed therein. The player with more houses must start play of the new set.

Players only use the number of houses for which the have won the pieces in the previous set. if a player gained extra holes in one set and then lost them in the next set they return to the opponent. When one player has lost all his houses the game is over.

The object is to get sets of four in your houses or to end with a set of four so the starting house should be chosen to maximize this.

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