FIGHTING SERPENTS is an Alquerque-type game invented by the Zuni Indians of New Mexico. Called kolowis awithlak’nannal, after the mythical serpent the kolowisi, the game tests your ability to outmaneuver your opponent within the tight confines of a narrow board crisscrossed with lines and to capture all of her pieces. The game appears to be based on a quadruple version of Alquerque that was introduced into Mexico by the Spanish Conquistadors in the sixteenth century. The Zuni version of the game is often inscribed on long oval stone slabs or even into the clay roofs of houses.
- HOW TO PLAY FIGHTING SERPENTS.
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS.-TWO.
To be the first player to capture all of the opponent’s playing pieces.
MATERIALS.-A narrow playing board crisscrossed with lines, and 46 playing pieces, 23 for one player and 23 of a different color for the other player.
To BEGIN PLAY.-Place each player’s pieces on the board as illustrated below so that only three spaces are left vacant. Decide who will take the first turn.
To PLAY.-The first player moves one of his pieces along the lines to one of the three vacant spaces on the board.
A player must capture an opponent’s piece whenever possible. This is done by jumping over one of the opponent’s pieces into an empty space next to it. Pieces are removed from the board when they are captured.Multiple jumps are allowed and can involve a change in direction, but jumping must be in a straight line. Going around the end of the board is not allowed, as it requires moving in a curved line.The game ends when all of one player’s pieces have been captured.
PERALIKATUMA is an interesting variation of Alquerque that is played in Ceylon. The rules and strategies are the same as in Alquerque, but the board is quite different. Each player has 23 pieces instead of 12. They are placed on the board as illustrated below.