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 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, and publications) are:
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....LESS
There are many authoritative books on card games and chess, but only a handful on the dozens of other games known to mankind. This excellent handbook by R. C. Bell is a basic reference to board and table games from around the world, and one of the two or three finest books ever written on the subject. Originally published in two volumes in the 1960's, it is now available for the first time in a corrected, one-volume edition.
Mr. Bell's encyclopedic work provides the rules and methods of play for 182 different games: Ma-jong, Hazard, Wei-ch'I (Go), backgammon, Wari, Continental draughts, Pachisi, Japanese chess, Bidou, Domino Loo, Cribbage, and many others. Volume one is divided into chapters devoted to race games, war games, games of position, Mancala games, dice games, and domino games; volume two follows the same arrangement and then proceeds to games with numbers, card games requiring boards, and games requiring manual dexterity. Additional information is furnished on making boards and pieces, and on gaming-counters.
Game players, toymakers, and historians of culture will welcome this guided tour of games from Egypt, Meso-America, the Orient, India, Persia, Rome, Africa, Victorian England, and many other societies. Over 300 illustrations, both photographs and line drawings, add an illuminating counterpoint to the text.