Hoyito dictionary → Portuguese.

Many specific terms and expressions are used in Hoyito, a mancala game played in the Dominican Republic. They were collected by Víktor Bautista i Roca during a short stay in the Dominican Republic and by asking Dominican expatriates in Catalonia.

Names of the Game

Hoyito has just one Kreyòl name, Kay (sometimes spelled Caille), but many Spanish names. The game was also called by one informant Mapenba, which could have derived from (1) "mapemba" (or its phonetic variants, e.g. mabemba, mahemba, ...), a Bantu word for maize or be related to (2) "mapenba" = blessing, benediction in the West African Vodun religion). Bantu-derived words are widespread in Caribbean languages and dialects.

Spanish Game Names

Widespread Names

(El) hoyito
(the) small hole
(Las) casitas
(the) little houses
(El) mate
(the) calabash seed
Jueguito mate
little calabash seeds game
Hoyitos de mate
small holes of calabash seeds
(Las) casitas del mate
(the) little houses of calabash seeds
Las casitas de los mates
the little houses of the calabash seeds

Names found just once

El maizal
the maize field
big calabash seeds
Come y deja
eat and leave
little stones

General Nomenclature

French Nomenclature

perdre ("to lose")
to end a multiple lap - Note: Kreyòl is pèdi .

Kreyòl Nomenclature

Kay ("house")
4 seeds in a hole
2 Marasa ("2 twins" - a lwa (spirit) in Haitian Vodou)
2 (or more) houses in a row
2 kabès ("2 heads")
2 (or more) houses in a row
Mouri ("to die" or "dead")
to end a multiple lap
Manje ("to eat")
to capture seeds

Spanish Nomenclature

Mate ("calabash seed")
seeds used (formerly/if available) to play
Casa ("house")
4 seeds in a hole
Hacer una casa ("to make a house")
capturing a house
Casa doble ("double house")
capturing two houses
Comer ("to eat")
to capture a house
Beber ("to drink")
to capture a house
Morir ("to die")
to end a multiple lap
Perder ("to lose")
to end a multiple lap
Regar ("to irrigate")
to move
Levantar ("to elevate")
to move
Barco ("boat")
a heavily loaded hole
Cerrar ("to close")
to mark a lost hole
Tapar ("to cover")
to mark a lost hole
Ir cocote ("to go [on your] neck")
to have no seed to play with
Pollito ("chick")
a non-empty hole


Bautista i Roca, V.
Africa Hidden Inside a Small Hole. Paper presented in the VIIIth Board Game Studies Colloquium. Oxford (England) 2005.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Víktor Bautista i Roca and Ralf Gering.
Under the CC by-sa 2.5.

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