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See also: Mancala Games (SPOV article).


The Complete Mancala Games Book: How to Play the World's Oldest Board Games, by Larry Russ, is neither complete, nor is it actually proven that mancala games are the oldest board games.

Many important mancala games are missing (e.g. Alemungula, Bohnenspiel, Bulto, Kalah, Oh-Wah-Ree, and Ruma). Not a single modern game is described. In fact, less than 20% of all mancala games are covered by the book.

The descriptions are often misleading. Russ frequently confuses clockwise with anticlockwise or fails to give the correct board size. Several mistakes and omissions appear to result from using unreliable sources. Only about half of the games are correctly described. Furthermore, several games are misspelled and there are also errors in regard to the cultural background (e.g. Vai Lung Thlan isn't played in Assam, but in Mizoram).

The following table only includes traditional games:

Correct Description Wrong Description Incomplete Description No Description
Anywoli
Bao la Kiswahili (as "Bao Kiswahili")
Giuthi
Hus
Kisolo (as "Kisolo (Cisolo)")
Layli Goobalay (as "Leyla Gobale")
Mbelele
Mwambulula
Oware (as "Wari")
Sadéqa (as "Sadeqa (Western Ethiopia)")
Vai Lung Thlan



Aw-li On-nam Ot-tjin (as "Ot-tjin")
Imbelece
Lamlameta
Mefuvha (as "Mofuba (Mefuvha)")
Toguz Korgool (as "Toguz Xorgool")
Tsoro









Adji-boto
Azigo
Omweso (as "Mweso")
Songo Ewondo (as "Songo")











Alemungula
Bao la Kimasai (*)
Bohnenspiel
Bulto
Embeli
En Gehé
Hawalis (*)
Katro (*)
Kay
Kiela (*)
Kiothi
Selus [Massawa]
Tchouba (*)
Um ed-Dyar
Ünee Tugalluulax
Waurie
* Not yet described in any literature at the date of publication

Copyright

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

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