Some speculate that the Mancala game originated in Africa some 3,000 years ago. With many variations played today throughout Africa, the West Indies, India and the Middle East, it continues to be a popular game. The board is made of two rows of six hollow holes for pieces, usually stones or marbles. At the end of the board there are two additional hollows for storage.
In Africa, this game was often played with large seeds. Our set at Creative Crafthouse comes complete with unusual and gorgeous small diameter cat's eye marbles for use as playing pieces. This beautifully crafted game makes an ideal collector's piece because of its detailed construction and stunning wood detail. The pockets are unusually deep and really improve the playability of the set compared with nearly anything in the marketplace that we have seen.
Over 200 games can be played on the Mancala board, including Oware, Bao Kishwahili, and Bao La Kujifunza. Oware is the most common of these and is the version played on our board. The object of Oware is to capture more marbles than the opponent through a process of alternately "sowing" the marbles (or seeds, originally) in numerical order. Whoever ends up with empty hollows and extra marbles has them captured by his or her opponent. The one with the most marbles when there are six empty hollows wins.
Mancala boards can be different shapes and sizes all over the world. In full playing position, the board is 21 inches long by five inches wide. It folds up completely and latches with a small string that holds the halves of the board snugly in place for storage.