Vai Lung Thlan

Overview

Vai Lung Thlan (lung "stone"; thlan "grave"; vai may mean "foreign" or be short for vai phei, the name of an old Kuki clan) was first described in 1912 by Lt.-Colonel J. Shakespear. This mancala game is played by both sexes of the Mizo (the modern name for the Lushai people) who live in the Indian State of Mizoram located between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Board

Vai Lung Thlan is played on a special board having two rows of 6 small pits and two big pits called storehouses.  The player's side is the bottom row of the small pits and the player's storehouse is on the right side.

At the beginning of the game 5 seeds are placed in each small pit.

 

Objective

A player wins the game if he accumulates more seeds in his own storehouse than the opponent.

Play

Players take turns sowing their seedsSowing is performed the following way:

  • A player picks all seeds up from one of the pits on his side.
  • Starting from the next pit in the clockwise direction, the player drops one of the taken seeds in each pit (skipping the storehouses).

Below is an example of sowing:

 

A player takes five seeds from his pit
and sows them clockwise.

  • If the last sown seed lands in an empty pit (on either side) so after the sowing the last pit contains a single seed, this seed is captured and placed in the player's storehouse. If the previous pit (previous in the sowing direction) also has a single seed, that seed is also captured and placed in the player's storehouse.  The captures are repeated until the previous pit is empty or the number of seeds in the pit is other than one.

 

A player takes five seeds from his pit and sows them clockwise.
The last sown seed lands in an empty pit on the opponent's side
so that pit has a single seed after the sowing. The two previous pits
also get a single seed. All seeds from these three pits
are captured and moved to the player's storehouse
:

 

  • A player passes his turn if he doesn't have any seeds on his side.

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