Game Board (Mankala)

Senufo peoples

Côte d'Ivoire

Game Board (Mankala), n.d.

  • On View

Wood with thirty-nine nuts

Dimensions: 7 × 37 5/8 × 8 in. (17.8 × 95.6 × 20.3 cm)

Gift of Justice and Mrs. G. Mennen Williams, 1973.11

Considered one of the oldest games in the world, Mankala exists in nearly every African culture. The game is known by countless different names and the rules vary. However, the fundamental goal remains the same, to capture a majority of the opponent’s pieces or at least immobilize them. Mankala is a vastly diverse game, played by African people of all classes, origins, and ages. Game boards range from holes dug out of the ground to wooden, or even ivory, game boards. Finely crafted boards are considered symbols of high status.

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