Mancala World
First Description: Thomas
Richard Hornby Owen, 1938
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Egypt, Eritrea,

Andot ("manure pellets") is a mancala game, which is played by the Bega (also spelled "Beja") in the Red Sea Hills, which stretch from southeastern Egypt through northeastern Sudan into Eritrea. The game was first described by Thomas Richard Hornby Owen in 1938. Andot bears similarities with Alemungula and Bechi.


"The distribution and combinations of counters are as illimitable as the combinations of cards at bridge, and as great skill is required to estimate the outcome of a move as to foresee the result of a move at chess."

Thomas Richard Hornby Owen (1938)


Andot is played on a board of two rows, each consisting of six holes. A player owns the six holes closest to him. Initially there are four stones (actually "manure pellets" made of camel-dung as the game's name suggests) in each hole.


Initial Position

On his turn, a player picks up all the contents of one of his holes that hasn't been captured by his opponent and then distributes, one by one, the stones into the following holes, the direction depending on the hole chosen. Moves from either of a player's three left-hand holes are made in clockwise direction, moves from either of the player's three right-hand holes are made in an anti-clockwise direction. Moves are single-lap.

A singleton which is played into an empty hole of the opponent's side, that is either the last or the first hole of the opponent's row), may not be played back in the next move.

If the last stone is dropped in one of the opponent's holes or one the player's endholes (the first or the last one) and makes a four, this hole is turned into a "daughter" (ot ifari). Any stone which falls into a daughter is owned by their father. It is not permitted to start a move from a daughter.

A daughter cannot be made by moving a singleton into one of the opponent's endholes. It is permitted to make such a move, but it doesn't create a daughter.

Passing is not permitted as long as there is a legal move.

The game ends when all stones are in daughters, i.e. neither player has a legal move left.

Each player wins as many points as his daughters contain stones at the end of the game. The player with most points wins.


Owen, T. R. H.
A Bega game – Andot. In: Sudan Notes and Records 1938; 21: 201-205.


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