First Description: Marcel
Griaule, 1938
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Mali

Ī, is a mancala game of the Dogon people in Mali. It is played by boys in Kaça village. The game was first described by the French ethnologue Marcel Griaule in 1938.

Ī is played with the fruits of the "Ko(n)ṇojo". It is a variant of Obridjie, but also related to Hoyito I, a game described from the Dominican Republic.


Ī differes from Obridjie in the following manner:

  • The fours are all captured by the player who is just sowing.


Initial Position

The game can also be played in rounds. The player who won more games in the match, gets one hole from his opponent for every game he leads. So if player player A won 4 games and player B two games, player A gets claims two hole's from player B's side as his own. Probably he conquers holes adjacent to his own row.

Griaule didn't state what is done with the uncaptured seeds, after the game has ended. Maybe the same rule as in Obridjie applies (that is, they aren't counted) or they are given to the player who moved last.

See alsoEdit

  • Nāh, also called Ī - a close variant played by the Dogon in Madougou and Sanga.


Griaule, M.
Jeux dogons. Institut d'Ethnologie, Paris (France) 1938, 168.


© Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.

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