Dogon Mancala Board

An amazing and ancient Dogon Mancala Board from the ex collection of Seward Kennedy.
Tribe: Dogon

Origin: Mali

Approx Age: 19th Century

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 71 long x 14 wide

Ref. Number: 0913


This lovely Dogon mancala board/game truly shows years of serious use and age. Made from a single piece of wood, the pots have extensive wear from seeds being pulled from the hollows and worn down the sides. A well used game that must have had many a tribesman engaged for hours over many a year.


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.  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. The name mancala is a classification or type of game, rather than any specific game. Other easily recognized names for this game include Oware, Awari and Warri are but a few. 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.

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