Mancala World
Bao Kiarabu
First Description: W. H.
Ingrams, 1921
Cycles: Two
Ranks: Four
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Kenya (Mombasa),
Tanzania (Zanzibar)

Two slightly different mancala games called Bao Kiarabu ("Arabic Bao") are played on Zanzibar, Tanzania. A closely related "Bao" was observed by Philip Townshend in Mombasa, Kenya. They were first described by W. H. Ingrams in 1921.

The first variant is based on four rows of eight holes.


Initial Position

Its rules are identical to Hawalis except that

  • the game is played clockwise
  • seeds in the opponent's back-row can be taken even if there are no seeds in the hole just in front of it in his inner line.

The second variant is in every respect identical to Hawalis, including the initial position and the size of the board. Ingram called this game the "true form from Arabia".


Ingrams, W. H. 
Zanzibar: Its History and Its People. Frank Cass & Co., London (England) 1921, 257.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Ralf Gering.
Under the CC by-sa 2.5.