Mancala (of arab.: “naqalah” = moves) is the scientific generic term for certain plays, which, by two persons, are usually played particularly in Africa and Asia. It is characteristic that with them pieces of play, which lie in hollows are umverteilt. In the English linguistic area this kind of plays is called also “pit and Pebble Games” (dt.: “Pit and pebble plays”) or “COUNT and Capture Games” (dt.: “Counting and catching plays”). In Germany they are called traditionally bean plays.
The Gattungsbezeichnung Mancala (also Manqala, Mankala) was coined/shaped by the American Ethnologen Stewart Culin, which wrote 1894 a scientific essay over the world-wide spreading of these plays. The name is derived from the Egyptian Mancala play, that for the first time from the Englishman E. W. Lane 1843 was described. This play became in the first half 19. Century in many Kairoer Cafés easily.
table of contents
the origin of the Mancala plays lies in the darkness of history hidden. The oldest Spielbretter (6. - 8. Century n. Chr.) were found in the northwest of Ethiopia, in Matara and Yeha. The play was mentioned for the first time in the Kitab aluminium-Aghani (book of the songs), in 10. Century was written by Ali Abul aluminium-Faraj of Isfahan. Whether older hollow rows (in the archaeology “cup marks” mentioned), e.g. in Egypt, Sri Lanka and Cyprus were found, play boards are, are not not well-known. Even if these hollows served for playing, one does not know, what was actually played on it. Also the dating of such finds is extremely problematic, since there are references that some hollow rows developed many later than the buildings, on which it is. Nevertheless by laymen and play producers it is maintained again and again that Mancala is the oldest play of the world, “5000 years old”.
With the slave trade westAfrican Mancala variants came around 1640 to west India (except Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas), the USA (Louis IANA) and parts of South America. By the propagation Islam these plays arrive also to central Asia, India, the Maldives, south China, south Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. From there they finally spread to Sri Lanka, on the Philippines and the Marianen.
In Europe traditional Mancala variants in the Baltic area were described, in the northern provinces of the earlier East Germany (Pommern to East Prussia), in Bosnia and on the Greek cyclades island Hydra. In the lock Weikersheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg, are located two Mancala tables from early 18. Century.
There are tournaments in Toguz Korgool (Kirgisien, Kazakhstan, Karakalpaki republic in the west Usbekistans, Republic of Chakassien in Russia), Sungka (the Philippines, Taiwan), Oware (Ghana, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Czech republic, Canada, Antigua & Barbuda), Songo ewondo (Cameroon, France), Gebeta (Ethiopia), Omweso (Uganda, England), Bao La Kiswahili (Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, England), Bao La Kimasai (Kenya), Moruba (South Africa), Hus (Namibia), Kiela (Angola), Kalaha (the USA) and BohnDuell (Internet).
names and variants
the English board play researcher Harold James Ruthven Murray (1868-1955) over 200 traditional Mancala variants listed. Often the designations change within only few kilometers. In the meantime it gives also over 60 modern variants, by which most were only invented in the last 50 years. Altogether exist probably far over 1000 different plays.
Most Mancala plays have two, three or four parallel rows, which consist of ever one (nano- Wari) to 50 hollows (EN Gehé). With some variants there is also ever a large hollow at the two ends, in which the struck stones are collected. In China (province Yunnan) a fünfreihige variant (Laomuzhuqi) even in addition, exists and on Madagascar a six-row play (Katro). In addition in the USA and Germany several single-row Mancala plays were invented (Atomic Wari, Sowing, 55Stones, progressive Mancala).
With most Mancala variants it concerns to make the opponent course unable by catching its Spielsteine or, with some few variants, its hollows. There are also plays, with which the player wins, who cannot pull as first no more. Sometimes also a certain position on the board is to be achieved.
Here some names of traditional variants and their spreading region:
|* Abala (la'e) (Eritrea)||* Adi (Ghana)||* Adji boto (Surinam)||* Adjito (Benin)||* Adzua (Nigeria)|
|* Aghadaghada (Nigeria)||* Agsinnoninka (the Philippines)||* A-i-ú (Brazil)||* Ajua (Kenya)||* Akileyisit (Uganda)|
|* Ako Okwe (Nigeria)||* Amoru (Uganda)||* Amungola (the Congo)||* Alemungula (Ethiopia)||* Ali Guli Mane (India)|
|* Ambala (the Congo)||* Andada (Eritrea)||* Andot (the Sudan)||* Annana (Ghana)||* Anywoli (Ethiopia)|
|* Aringari (the Sudan)||* Asiti (Djibouti)||* Awagaga (Ethiopia)||* Awari (Surinam)||* Aweet (the Sudan)|
|* Awele (the Ivory Coast)||* Aw-left on-nam Ot-tjin (Indonesia/Borneo)||* Ayit (Ethiopia, the Sudan)||* Ayo (ayo) (Nigeria)||* Azigo (Nigeria)|
|* Ba-awa (Ghana)||* Bahendagabo (Malawi)||* Baimbele (the Congo)||* Bajangkaq (Indonesia/Sumatra)||* Banga (the Congo)|
|* Banya (the Congo)||* Bao (Tanzania)||* Bao Kiarabu (Tanzania)||* Bao La Kimasai (Tanzania)||* Bao La Kiswahili (Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Comoros, Madagascar)|
|* Baqura (Iraq)||* cash one (Ethiopia, The Sudan)||* Baruma (the Congo)||* Bawo (Malawi)||* Béchi (Eritrea)|
|* bean play (Germany, the Baltic)||* Bosch (Somalia)||* Buberuku (Morocco)||* Bulto (Ethiopia)||* Bultuma (Kenya)|
|* Busolo (the Congo)||* Ceelkoqyuqkoqjji (China/Yunnan)||* Cela (Angola)||* Cepenet (Kenya)||* Chato (Indonesia/Sumatra)|
|* Chiana wa bwalo (Malawi)||* Chiana wa kunja (Malawi)||* Chisolo (Zambia)||* Chonka (Sri Lanka)||* Cokajon (the Philippines)|
|* Conk (l) AC (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia)||* C (h)oro (Uganda)||* Cuba (South Africa, Mozambique)||* curie (Kenya)||* Dabuda (Djibouti)|
|* Dagh (Nigeria)||* Dakon (Indonesia/Java)||* Dara dara (Indonesia/Celebes)||* Daramutu (Sri Lanka)||* Darra (Nigeria)|
|* Deka (the Congo)||* Djamo (Liberia)||* Dongjintian (China/Yunnan)||* Dong where (China/Yunnan)||* Dwong (the Congo)|
|* El Arnab (the Sudan)||* Ekwe (Nigeria)||* Embeli (the Congo)||* EN Dodoi (Tanzania)||* EN Gehé (Tanzania)|
|* Enkeshui (Kenya, Tanzania)||* E Children or nomadisierende Viehhirten dig however often also only the hollows into the soil. As pieces of play one uses seeds (in particular those the Molukkenbohne Caesalpinia bonduc||), shells, excrement bundles (of camels, goats, sheep) or pebbles. In Ghana it is told that Ntim Gyakari (1695-1701), which used king of Denkyira, golden Spielsteine, when he was murdered with a portion of Oware. Since then it means in west Africa that golden stones bring misfortune.||The symbolic meanings of the traditional Mancala plays are various. Often they are located in connection with the desire according to “fertility”, depending upon social background e.g. with the pregnancy of women and cows, stealing cattle, catching fish, the rain cult, the cycle of sowing and harvesting, the acquisition prosperity by trade. The 12 hollows, which have many variants, are interpreted in some areas as the 12 months or as the 12||Tierkreiszeichen. At the Ivory Coast|
|Awele, the play was only during the day played. At night one left it untouched outside, so that the Gods could further-play. In Surinam the survivors of a dead one play that there Awari play mentioned before the funeral, in order to please the deceased. One believed there that at night||the Yorkas, which would come spirit of the dead ones, in order to along-pass on and to kidnap the souls of the living persons in the shade realm. In many areas of Africa and the Karibik only men may play it. In south Asia it is against it usually a play of women and children. In central Asia it was original a man play, but already attained||in particular Togus Kumalak at Soviet times in the there Republics of the status of a national sport, which is exercised also by many women.||[Work on]||see also bean play|
|; CROSS Kalah;||Cups; Eppstein's Mancala||; Kalaha;||Lamlameta; Luuth||; Micro Wari;|
|Nano- Wari; Obridjie||; Oware;||Sowing; Sungka||; Vai lung thlan;||Warra; Wauri|
|[Work on]||Web on the left of [||work on] several variants||English WikiManqala||Mancala forum for scientists and player description of different Mancala plays (Catalan, English and Spanish)|
|[||work on] individual variants||Oware, those furthest common Mancala variant||Awari, a Oware variant the Glass Bead Game Bohn (EN||), solved from the computer, duel. However not Sackson comes from simmers!|
|Omweso, the ugandische national play over Bao La Kiswahili||Kiela in Angola|