"The board is called papamu konane (papa means flat surface). The game appears to be authentically Hawaiian. It consists of capturing "men" for justice and for sacrifice. To this purpose black and white pebbles were moved around from hole to hole. The holes, especially the central one, the pika, or navel, were inset with human teeth."

"Konane boards across the island don't follow any established pattern in size or play. The amount of holes, set in even lines, varies between 64 on the low end to well over 250 on the high end, seemingly only changing the amount of game time involved. Along the Kohala coast , at Kapaloa, a series of identical petroglyph boards are carved at regular intervals. They must have served for the first elimination matches in an important gambling event for the ali'i: A little further inland, an arena still stands, with one enormous, single checkerboard on its dome. Around this stage there is plenty of room for betting spectators. This was no doubt the final game between champions." [from http://www.coffeetimes.com/konane.htm]

The version presented here is played on a 8x8 board. The initial setup follows (this is one of the few 2-player games I know that start with a full board).

  • REMOVE PHASE - Black removes one black stone from the board center (I suppose in even boards, that means the 2x2 square center) or from one of the edges. White then removes a white stone adjacent to the removed black stone.
  • GOAL - Wins the player that moved the last stone.
  • JUMP PHASE - Each player, in turns, pick a friendly stone and jump an enemy stone (on the same rank or column), capturing it.
    • A jump may capture multiple stones (not mandatory). 
    • However, it occurs along a row or file, never diagonally and not in two directions on a single move.

Starting the game

Black removed D5 and White removed an adjacent white stone at C5


This is the board after 2. F5-D5, E5-C5, 3. B5-D5, C3-C5

Winning ends...

If Black moves to cell [1] then White captures B5-D5-F5, then Black moves F4-F6-F8 and wins in the next turn. The same happens if White just moves B5-D5, since Black replies with D4-D6-D8.

More historical information is found at Prof. Michael Ernst Konane´s website.

If you want more information and even play Konane online against a computer, check here. There is also a playing program to the PalmOS.