The word mancala comes from the Arabic word naqala meaning literally "moved." Among the earliest evidence of the game are fragments of a pottery board and several rock cuts found in Aksumite Ethiopia in Matara (now in Eritrea) and Yeha (in Ethiopia), which are dated by archaeologists to between the 6th and 7th century AD.
Most Mancala games share a common general game play. Players begin by placing a certain number of seeds, prescribed by the variation in use, in each of the pits on the game board. A player may count their stones to plot the game. A turn consists of removing all seeds from a pit, "sowing" the seeds (placing one in each of the following pits in sequence) and capturing based on the state of board.
Equipment is typically a board, constructed of various materials, with a series of holes arranged in rows, usually two or four. The materials include clay and other shape-able materials. Some games are more often played with holes dug in the earth, or carved in stone. The holes may be referred to as "depressions," "pits," or "houses." Sometimes, large holes on the ends of the board, called stores, are used for holding the pieces. Playing pieces are seeds, beans, stones, cowry shells, or other small undifferentiated counters that are placed in and transferred about the holes during play.
The objective of mancala games is usually to capture more stones than the opponent; sometimes, one seeks to leave the opponent with no legal move or to have your side empty first in order to win.
Our Mancala comes with 12 wooden bowls, 48 wooden balls, and 2 pouches.
Each bowl is 3" in diameter. Each ball is 1/2" in diameter.
Sorting, coordination, math, strategy, counting, problem solving, planning.
5 years and up. This activity contains small parts and MUST be used with adult supervision. Children should NOT use Mancala unattended.
Mancala is $35.00.