Mu Torere

Mu Torere is a traditional Maori game from New Zealand which is recorded as being played at the time of the early European settlers.

Age: Adults and older children

No. of players: 2

Equipment: Mu Torere game board (see diagram); 4 game pieces per player (use different coloured stones, coloured discs, coins, etc.)

Time: 5+ minutes

Aim: To move your games pieces into a position which prevents your opponent from moving any further.

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1. Draw up your eight points board (see diagram below).

2. Both players place their game pieces on the board. One player (red) places her pieces on one side with one game piece on each point. The other player (blue) places his pieces on the points on the other side of the board.

Mu Torere board

3. Each player takes turns moving one game piece at a time. They can move either into the middle of the board (known as the putahi) or onto an adjacent point (known as the kewai). A player can only move a piece into the centre if it is adjacent to a n opponent's piece.

4. Players must not jump over another game piece or have more than one game piece at the same time.

5. The winner is the player who has blocked his opponent from making any more moves.


Sample Game:

Mu Torere game first move




Blue can only move from position 1 or position 4 to the centre, since the other positions are not touching a red piece.

Mu Torere game second move




Red can only move from 8 to 1.

Mu Torere game third move




Blue must move from the centre to 8.

Mu Torere game fourth move




Red could move from 1, 5 or 7 to the centre. She chose to move from 1.

Mu Torere game fifth move




Blue could move from 2 or 8 to position 1. He chose to move from position 8.

Mu Torere game final move




Red could move from the centre to 8 or from 7 to 8. She chose to move from 7, thus blocking Blue from moving and winning the game.


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