Mancala (board game)

Mancala (board game)

About Mancala (board game)

Mancala is a family of board games played around the world, sometimes called 'sowing' games, or 'count-and-capture' games, which describes the game-play. The word mancala comes from the Arabic word naqala meaning literally 'moved.' No one game exists with the name mancala; instead mancala is a type, or designation, of game. This word is used in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, but is not consistently applied to any one game. In the USA, however, 'mancala' is often used as a synonym for the game Kalah. 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. This leads to the English phrase 'Count and Capture' sometimes used to describe the gameplay.