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Subject: Help me identify Mancala/Kalah-like board game rss

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Sondre S
Norway
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I hope I am posting in the correct sub-forum. If not, my apologies.

Picked this up at a Salvation Army Shop in Norway earlier this week, and I'm hoping to get it identified.




The board is, as pictured, foldable. It looks handcarved and lacquered, and the woodwormholes makes me think it is quite old? It has a total of 32 nickernuts, but for all I know some might be missing. It looks like a variant of the game Mancala/Kalah, but I haven't found any images online that looks excactly the same.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Spain
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Maybe is Oware without the side holes.

Found this image http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Awal%C3%A9.jpg
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Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Any number of Mancala games could be played with that set. The main clue is the number of pieces which seems to be only 32 pieces. I suspect several are missing though.
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Harald Korneliussen
Norway
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You might want to ask Ralf Gering, he's the resident Mancala games specialist. But unless the artwork gives some clue, I think it would be hard to distinguish exactly which variant it is.

Edit: Here's the big list from Gering's site, Mancalaworld.

http://mancala.wikia.com/wiki/Traditional_mancala_games
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tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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frogbog wrote:

The board is, as pictured, foldable. It looks handcarved and lacquered, and the woodwormholes makes me think it is quite old?


Wormwood is wormwood. It's often used for its decorative properties and doesn't necessarily denote age. Also, since the board was designed to be folded with metal hinges, I'm doubting it's all that old. It could well be that this game was made for the tourist trade.

There are a surprising (staggering, really) number of mancala variants. Most mancala-playing countries have their own variations (and sub-variations). I've seen ones without the end holes, but I don't remember any names for this type of variation.
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Sondre S
Norway
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fivecats wrote:
frogbog wrote:

The board is, as pictured, foldable. It looks handcarved and lacquered, and the woodwormholes makes me think it is quite old?


Wormwood is wormwood. It's often used for its decorative properties and doesn't necessarily denote age. Also, since the board was designed to be folded with metal hinges, I'm doubting it's all that old. It could well be that this game was made for the tourist trade.

There are a surprising (staggering, really) number of mancala variants. Most mancala-playing countries have their own variations (and sub-variations). I've seen ones without the end holes, but I don't remember any names for this type of variation.


I know, and the nails look quite modern. The "tacky" lacquer also adds to the tourist trade theory.

Anyways, thanks a bunch to everyone who has contributed so far! I didn't expect this much response in such a short time. Is it possible to order nickernuts somewhere online?
 
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Marek Komorowski
Poland
Piotrkow Tryb.
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You can find the seeds on www.ebay.fr - look for caesalpinia bonduc ( this is the name of the seeds ). In most variants of the game you would need 48 seeds ). The most popular variant is oware ( other names: awale,wari). You start with 4 seeds in each hole. There are a few variants of oware, in international tournaments abapa rules are used : you cannot capture all the seeds of your opponent, although you can make such a move and it doesnt capture anything, there are other variants in which grand slam is allowed and makes the game over. You can play one of the variants of mancala - wari online on www.ludoteka.com ( I dont remember whether they implement abapa rules ). Mancala games are in my opinion the best abstract strategy games, but not all the variants have the same value. For example kalaha - it is not an original african game and in this game the first player has quite obvious advantage - it is a game invented in the 20th century, while oware is an ancient game that is well balanced and with the best play of both players probably should end in a draw ( but the draws dont occure often because of the deep strategies involved to achieve the best play).
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Benedikt Rosenau
Germany
Göttingen
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frogbog wrote:
I know, and the nails look quite modern. The "tacky" lacquer also adds to the tourist trade theory.

Anyways, thanks a bunch to everyone who has contributed so far! I didn't expect this much response in such a short time. Is it possible to order nickernuts somewhere online?

Depending on how it is done, the lacquer can be tacky or it can be nice. I own several similar boards, not to the least for just lieing around and looking good. One of these boards is made from a lighter wood than the others, and it gives a nice cluc cluc during play. Definitely a sensual experience.
 
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Jon
Canada
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Traditional games that have survived the test of time and ancient games that have not are a part of our heritage.
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m'n - the Egyptian hieroglyph for board game, also signifying "stability" and used phonetically as in the last syllable of "Tutankhamun"
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I have an Oware board like this that I bought at a local store selling African products.

The board that you have is available online from the Oware Society. They also sell seeds.

http://www.oware.org/catalogue.asp
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