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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-08-21
 By Freederick  . Elephant Hunt. Ituri Forest Pygmi traditional game with chess-like elements. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-08-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I would like to share the following correspondance with Freederick. On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 Tony Quintanilla wrote : >... >Very nice! How did you learn about this game? >... Thank you! I learned about Elephant Hunt secondhand from a francophone friend of mine in my college years, who had an interest in anthropology. The notes in Father Morceau's diary made much ado about the game being played on a 10x10 board; he theorized a lot about the Pygmies either borrowing the game from a more advanced culture with a base-ten counting system, or starting with a 5x5 field for the elephant (the Pygmies, it seems, use a base-five system) from which the 10x10 board arose by subdivision. All of this is not germane to the rules of the game, and I don't remember it well anyway. The actual rules were given a skimpy and incomplete treatment in the notes. The author did mention that the Elephant moved on the 5x5 field on which the 10x10 field for the Pygmies was 'overlaid by halving', and that the Pygmies moved 'by hopping about, like our chess-knight' but I personally doubt they actually made a Knight-move, which is sort of abstract. However, other possible alternatives (like D and/or A) seem to me to be out of the question, as the Pygmies cannot possibly win if colorbound. Thus, not having other information, I implemented them with a Knight-move, which makes for an interesting game. The Shaman (witch-doctor, IIRC, was the term employed) was described as making 'double moves'. I implemented this as W2F2; it could just as well be t[NN], or perhaps the move of the Lion in Chu Shogi: t[KK]. These variants also seem interesting and playable. Unfortunately I have lost contact with the friend who provided the information, and I have no idea of other sources. Sincerely yours Freederick