Mancala World

Andalusian mancala boards → Portuguese.

Mancala games were introduced to Andalusia (then called "al-Andalus") in the 10th century AD by the Moors.

  • In Ciudad de Vascos (Navalmoralejo, Toledo), there are at least 13 boards dating from the 10th or 11th century. They were researched by the Spanish archaeologists Cosín Corral and García Aparicio.
  • The Burgos Museum has a mancala board from the San Domingo de Silos monastery, which belonged to the daughter of Abd-al-Rahman III (891-961), the emir (912-929) and first caliph (929-961) of Cordoba. It isn't archived as a game board, but as a "game box" ("estuche de juegos").
  • Another board is carved in a stone at one side of the "Puerta del Cambrón", Toledo. This city gate used to be the entrance to the Jewish quarter. It was rebuilt in the 16th century on the site of a Muslim gate, which was preceded by an ancient Visigothic gate. The board is vertical, so it was possibly carved before the stone was used for the door. It has two rows of four pits, plus two stores at the same end of the board.
  • A similar board was found in Salvatierra castle (Villena, Alacant)
  • Another board dating from the 13th century is at a barbican of Ambra castle (Pego, Alacant), perhaps indicating that the game was used by the guards to while away the time. It has two rows of four pits.
  • A similar one is in the Roman theatre of Merida near the stage. It also has two rows of four pits.

See also


Cosín Corral, Y. & García Aparicio, C.
Alquerque, mancala y dados: juegos musulmanes en la ciudad de vascos. In: Revista de Arqueología 1998; 19 (201): 38-47.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Víktor Bautista i Roca.
Under the CC by-sa 2.5.