Mancala Game Board
Arts of Africa
Mancala is one of the world's oldest games and is widely played in Africa. This board, like most, has twelve holes and two large cups to hold each player's game pieces. The figurative carvings, however, are rare, and the board's boat shape reflects the importance of canoes to the Bidjogo. Mancala reflects ideas about how society is organized: the board may represent either the village or the universe; the holes are called "houses" or "villages"; and the playing pieces, which are moved around the board, are called "men," "wives," "children," or "cattle."
8 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. (21 x 59.1 x 13 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
Prior to 1922, provenance not yet documented; by 1922, acquired by William O. Oldman of London, United Kingdom; 1922, purchased from William O. Oldman by the Brooklyn Museum.
The object is a boat-shaped board with 12 playing cups and one triangular "capture" cup at either end. The playing area stands on a rectangular box which originally held playing seeds. The two ends are supported by a pair of male figures with ringed necks. The proper left leg of one of the figures is missing.
This item is not on view
Possibly Bullom. Mancala Game Board, 19th century. Wood, 8 1/4 x 23 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. (21 x 59.1 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.239. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.239_SL1.jpg)
overall, 22.239_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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