Dogon Mancala - Ex Seward Kennedy Collection

  • Tribe: Dogon
  • Origin: Mali
  • Approx Age: 19th - early 20th Century
  • Materials: wood
  • Dimensions cm: 71 x 19
  • Ref. Number: 0914

An amazing and ancient Dogon Mancala from the ex collection of Seward Kennedy. This truly shows years of serious use and age, the pots have extensive wear from pulling out the seeds from the hollows and worn down the sides.

Mancala within the Dogon tribe are handed down from generation to generation as gifts or once someone has passed away, so these games are normally  kept within a family for many years until they do not function in the way they are meant to. Due to the age of this piece and that a piece has worn away / broken, this is possibly why this was obtainable.

Photo taken from MMM’s “Everything is Possible”

Mancala games/boards differ from region to region in style of the board and construction ie: some Mancala have legs and feet, ornate bases and the number of hollows may vary. This Dogon Mancala displays a set of 12 hollows and would have had a large hollow either end to which one has worn away / broken and presents in quite a structural form sat on feet, and extremely weathered, this is also showing exquisite signs of constant use over very many years.  A beautiful, old and authentic piece of every day used Dogon  entertainment.

Dogon Mancala

Mancala is a generic name for a family of 2-player turn-based strategy board games played with small stones or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth, a board or other playing surface. The objective is usually to capture all or some set of the opponent’s stones. Versions of the game have been played for at least hundreds of years around the world.

Awalé (Nicolafay) Tags: africa mali dogon pays afrique awalé

The name is a classification or type of game, rather than any specific game. Some of the most popular mancala games (with regard to distribution area, the numbers of players and tournaments. Although more than 800 names of traditional mancala games are known, some names denote the same game, while some names are used for more than one game. Almost 200 modern invented versions have also been described.