Mancala games play an important role in numerous songs and other expressions of music, both modern and tradional. These include many different styles from chamber music to Jazz. There is also the British "Mankala Band" from the multicultural city of Bristol, which has been named after the game. They are playing an eclectic mix of Afro-Beat, Fusion, Roots and Reggae.
Some Traditional Songs from Cameroon
The following songs refer to the game of Songo and were recorded by the German ethnologue G. Tessmann in 1907.
A mocking song of the Ntum:
"Who do you play with?" -
Who do you actually play with?"
Some people play well, other people play bad.
Miss Nsöla says:
"The woman who has no calves wants
that I put her brass rings around the lower legs
like those of the handsome Ntsama-Obiang."
A mocking song of the Fang:
"Once I played the stone game with Beköna,
the well-known Beköna-Mpfa,
who is the son of Mpfa-Mangöö.
"Really, you compare to an old man who has no teeth
and wants to eat the skin of an elephant,
or to a woman without buns [i.e. is ugly]
who says: "I wear a raffia skirt." -
"Dumb-ass! Your father is covered with blains."
Spectators, shouldn't we tell her:
"Just put the stones on the board,
we'll see what happens."
|Adiye||A. R. Rahman||Sid Sriram||2012||Popular Music||Tamil||India||Mentioning Pallanguzhi (video with lyrics).|
|Ahsante, sana ndugu||(?)||(?)||1960s||Wigaashe||Sukuma||Tanzania||The song, which praises Julius Nyerere, mentions Bao (lyrics).|
|Awalé||Henri Dikongue||Henri Dikongue||2005||Chanson||French||Ivory Coast||Song metioning Awalé, Dominoes, and Chess.|
|Bao la Kete||(?)||AT||2011||Bongo Music||Swahili||Tanzania||Official video.|
|Chinna Chinna Sugangal||S. A. Rajkumar||Krishnaraj, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubramanyam||2000||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi (video; lyrics).|
|Cho tôi xin một vé đi tuổi thơ||(?)||Nguyễn Mạnh Hoàng||2012||Popular Music (Vietnamese "Schlager")||Vietnamese||Vietnam||Childhood memories mentioning Ô Ăn Quan (video).|
|Ettu Jilla Paththu||Deva||Anuradha Sriram, Unni Menon, Ganga||2003||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi.|
|Flora||Takmi Ikeda||Takmi Ikeda||2009||Electro-acoustic Work||---||Japan||Second version of Mkomwe, which was inspired by African Mancala (video).|
|Join the Club||(?)||(?)||2006||Children's Song / Film Music||English||USA||First aired in The Friendship Club (Strawberry Shortcake - Season 3, Episode 1) - video.|
|Kalah - electronic music||Zoltán Jeney||Zoltán Jeney||1988||Electro-Acoustic Work||---||Hungary||Composed for a MIDI sequencer and 14 loudspeakers (source).|
|Kalah - for piano||Zoltán Jeney||Zoltán Jeney||1983||Acoustic Work||---||Hungary||Piano solo (source).|
|Kanmaniyae Kanmaniya||Rohini, S.P.Balasubramaniyam||Illayaraja||1995||Playback Song||Tamil||India||The song of the movie "Chinna Vathiyar" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics; video).|
|Kannitheevu Ponna||K||Mlr Karthikeyan & Raqueeb Alam||2011||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi (video; lyrics).|
|Kannukule Pallankuzhi||(?)||Vishal Bharadwaj||2001||Playback Song||Tamil||India||The song of the movie "Pengal" mentions Pallanguzhi (video).|
|Kichu Kichu Thambulam||(?)||(?)||2013||Playback Song||Kannada||India||Mentions many children's games among them Pallanguzhi (lyrics; video excerpt).|
|Kodakooli Koduthaachu||'Kavignar' Vaali||Anushka Manchanda, Premji Amaran||2006||Playback Song||Tamil||India||The song of the movie Kalvanin Kaadhali mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Kodaangi vanthirukken||Vidya Sagar||Anuradha Sriram, R. Manicka Vinayagam||2008||Playback Song||Tamil||India||The song of the movie Muniyandi Vilangiyal Moondramandu mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics; excerpt with the song; note that the translation is wrong: Pallanguzhi was translated as "checkers", although this game is actually called draaft aata in Tamil).|
|Mai poosum kannazhagi||Peter John||(?)||2008||Playback Song||Tamil||India||The song of the movie Poova Thalaiya mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Mancala||Voz Defrans||Voz Defrans||2005||New Wave / Electro Punk||---||USA||Homepage of the artist and track from the album Voz Defrans EP.|
|Mancala||Darcy James Argue, Jamie Begian, Joseph C Phillips Jr, JC Sanford, Joshua Shneider & Yumiko Sunami||Darcy James Argue, Jamie Begian, Joseph C Phillips Jr, JC Sanford, Joshua Shneider & Yumiko Sunami||2007||Jazz||---||Canada, Japan, USA||Video of part 1 and part 2.|
|Mancala||Mathias Friis-Hansen, David Hildebrandt, Mathias Reumert||Mathias Friis-Hansen, David Hildebrandt, Mathias Reumert||2008||Percussion||---||Denmark||Band called PACE Percussion Trio (video).|
|Mancala||Pino Palladino, Simon Phillips, Philippe Saisse||Pino Palladino, Simon Phillips, Philippe Saisse||2009||Jazz||---||France, UK||Band called PSP (video).|
|Mancala Variations||Jay C. Batzner||Jay C. Batzner||2008||Electronic Music||---||USA||Sounds from a mancala board (general information & audio file).|
|Mancala for two violins||Marta Ptaszyńska||Hanna Lachert & Yaniv Segal||1997||Chamber Music||---||USA||Music created by one of the best known Polish woman composers (video).|
|Mayili Mayilu Mayilamma||Ranjith Barot||Chithra, Mano, Unni Krishnan||1997||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Mkomwe||Takmi Ikeda||Takmi Ikeda||2008||Electro-acoustic Work||---||Japan||Inspired by African Mancala (video).|
|Mot Songo||Martino Atangana||Martino Atangana||2005||A blend of Afro-Pop and Jazz||Ewondo||Cameroon||About a man wasting his time by playing Songo (video).|
|No Seed||(?)||Terry “Suzuki” Joseph||2009||Reggae||English||Antigua and Barbuda||Film music performed by "The New Dread and the Baldhead"; showing a game of Warri in progress.|
|Nyongkka Makkaa||Srikanth Deva||Srikanth Deva, Senthil Das, Priyadharshini||2007||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song composed for the movie Madurai Veeran, which mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Oram Po Naina (Odi Aadinaen)||Yuvan Shankar Raja||Premji, Yuvan Shankar Raja||2006||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song composed for the movie Azhagaai Irukkiraai Bayamaai Irukkiradhu, which mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Pallankuzhi Kannam||P. C. Shivan||M. K. Balaji||2009||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song composed for the movie Bayam Ariyaan (video).|
|Pallankuzhiyin||S. A. Rajkumar||Unnikrishnan, Harini||2001||Playback Song||Telugu||India||Aong composed for the movie Anandham (lyrics and audio file).|
|Ponnanganni Poothu||Shankar Ganesh||P.Susheela, S. P. Balasubramaniyam||1980||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi and composed for the movie Natchathiram (song).|
|Timely Fashion||Morris Wayne Ricks II ("King Mez")||Morris Wayne Ricks II||2012||Hip-Hop||English||USA||Quote: "I would really rather just drop gems like mancala" (video; lyrics).|
|Transferred||Jason Bolte||Jason Bolte||2008||Electro-acoustic Work||---||USA||A 60 second work derived from samples of a Mancala board game.|
|Ulaga Azhagi Naan Dhaan||Bharathwaj||Janani Bharathwaj||2007||Playback Song||Tamil||India||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi and composed for the movie Pirappu (lyrics; video).|
|What's Ya Name?||Skeme||Skeme, Dom Kennedy & Bryan Roberts||2012||Hip-Hop||English||USA||The artist sings that he "got girls losing their marbles like mancala" (video ).|
|Yabangan||(?)||"Repablikan"||2009||Hip-Hop||Tagalog||Philippines|| Quote: "ni minsan di pa natalo sa game na chess at sungka" (video and lyrics).
|"Bao song"||Swahili||Swahili||Kenya||The song is given here, another version.|
|Dồng dao||Vietnamese||Vietnamese||Vietnam||Text and translation.|
|I played Ayo with Olu||Yoruba||Yoruba||Nigeria||Original text and translation.|
|Mayage and Maipage||Tuluva||Tulu||India||The song mentions the game of Sitāṭa and echoes the destructive effects of gaming, especially when the players outside the game are of a different status.|
|Mocking Songs of the Ntum and Fang||Ntum & Fang||Fang||Cameroon||Three songs recorded by G. Tessmann featuring Songo.|
|Olinda thibenne||Tamils||Tamil||Sri Lanka||Sung during the Avurudu (New Year) season featuring the game of Olinda Keliya (presentation of the song by Saman Panapitiya and Mathra; another video).|
|Paramale Ballal||Tuluva||Tulu||India||Story sung by two women, Payyu (the lead singer) and Kargi Mundaldaklu of Anjar village, Udupi Taluk; audio file.|
|Vinanaasakoni||Tamils||Tamil||India||Kriti by Saint Thygraja about male superiority featuring Pallanguzhi, sometimes misinterpreted as "chess"; translated text.|
- Let's Play Olinda. In: Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) April 10, 2011.
- Claus, P. J.
- Cenne (Mancala) in Tuluva Myth and Cult. In: Claus, P. J., Pattanayak, D. P. & Handoo, J. Indian Folklore II.
- Gunderson, F. D.
- Sukuma Labor Songs From Western Tanzania: We Never Sleep, We Dream of Farming. Koninklijike Brill NV, Leiden (Netherlands) 2010, 368.
- Paranamanna, L.
- Enchanting Beauty of Avurudhu Games. In: The Nation on Sunday (Sri Lanka) April 13, 2008.
- Tessmann, G.
- Die Kinderspiele der Pangwe. In: Baessler-Archiv: Beiträge zur Völkerkunde. (Leipzig & Berlin, Germany) 1912; 2: 250-280.