Morabaraba is a traditional African board game similar to checkers or chess. It is a two-player game and the  board layout is suitable to be constructed on the ground with sticks. Stones are used as the moving items.


It is played extensively throughout Africa and Asia. It is a recognised part of the TRADITIONAL WORLD GAMES.

 1) The rules to be used are as follows:

 Play consists of three stages:

 Stage 1

  • Each player starts with 12 tokens called "cows".
  • Starting with a clear board, each player alternatively places one cow at a time on a junction (circle). The aim is to create rows of three, either vertically, diagonally, or horizontally. Cows may only be placed on unoccupied junctions.
  • When three-in-a-row is achieved, the player may remove (shoot) one of the opponent's cows. A player can not shoot an opponent's "three-in-a-row" cows if there are other cows on the board left to shoot.
  • Only one of the opponent's cows may be shot at a time, even if two (or more) lines of three-in-a-row are achieved with one move.
  • Once a cow is shot, it shall not be used in play again.

 Stage 2

  • When all twelve cows of each player have been placed on the board, cows may be moved from one junction to another. A move consists of moving a cow from one junction to an unoccupied junction immediately linked and adjacent to that junction.
  • Players may break their own lines of three-in-a-row in order to make new lines, or simply reposition their cows.
  • Cows may be moved back and forth to the same two junctions repeatedly. A three-in-a-row may be made, broken and remade repeatedly.
  • Each time a three-in-a-row is remade, an opponent's cow shall be shot.

 Stage 3

  • When a player has lost all but three cows, then a player may move a cow to any vacant junction on the board with each move.

 Winning the game

  • The game is won when the opponent cannot move any cows: or when the opponent has lost all but two cows.
  • When a player is down to three cows, and neither player is able to shoot an opponent's cow within ten moves, the game is a draw.