KONANE: HAWAIIAN VALUES IN A BOARD GAME

  • Konane was not elitist—everyone played it, all the time
  • In konane who takes the most pieces is irrelevant–you win by making your opponent powerless, not by conquering (as in chess) or destruction (as in checkers).
  • The complexity of konane is in the control of paths through space: this makes it radically different than chess, which is basically a wargame, or checkers
  • The look and feel of the board and pieces reflects the importance of all the senses
  • My personal set is seen below: the white are turbo shell operculums from Hawaiian archaeological sites; the black are waterworn stones from Kahikinui Maui beaches
  • Traditional-Pieces
  • The Hawaiian world view is dominated by dualism—every aspect of existence has an opposite
  • In konane the contrasting sets of pieces and their relationship (visually) with the board reflects this principle
  • Konane pieces must contrast both in texture and color
  • Konane boards varied in size from 6×6 rows up to 15×12 rows; the most common patterns were 7×6; 9×7; 9×8; 9×9; 11×10; 12×11 and 14×11
  • The board below is made from mango.  Notice how two different sets of pieces look on this wood, in contrast to the bamboo or mahogany boards in the other pictures.
  • Mango-Piece-Contrast

Konane Rules

  • All pieces are laid out in alternating order
  • Black player starts—must remove one piece at the board center [see below]BlackRemoved
  • White player then removes one piece next to the missing black piece [see below]StartOfPlay
  • Black then moves and so on
  • All moves are in a straight line, NO diagonals
  • You can NOT change direction during a move—straight line only
  • In each turn you MUST huli [hop over] at least one of your opponent’s pieces—which is then removed.  You DO NOT have to make multiple huli if you don’t want to
  • You cannot move through empty spaces, nor can you jump over your own pieces
  • The 1st player who can’t huli looses [immobilized]
  • White below still has several moves (huli) possible, black does not–black has lost
  • LastMove

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