Mancala World
First Description: G.
Marin, 1931
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Pussa Kanawa
Region: Somalia

Bosh is a game played by the Darod clan in Somalia. It was first described by the ethnologue G. Marin in 1931. The game is similar to Indian mancala games such as Pachgarhwa and Sat-gol.


Bosh is played on a board of two rows, each consisting of five holes dug in the ground. There are four stones in each hole at the outset of the game.


Initial Position

At his turn a player distributes the contents of one of his holes anti-clockwise, one by one, into consecutive holes. After the last stone has been sown, the contents of the next hole are taken and distributed. These are Indian-style laps.

If the next hole is empty, the move is over. The contents of the hole immediately next to the empty one are captured. However, if the hole where a player has dropped his last stone is followed by two empty ones, he gets nothing.

If a player cannot move because all the holes on his side are empty, he forfeits all the remaing stones to his opponent.

Next round: each player fills his holes with four stones from his winnings. Any hole with less than the full amount is closed down with sand and considered as non-existent, but can be re-opened in a later round.

The aim of the game is to close down all the opponent's holes, that is to reduce his provision to less than four stones.


Marin, G. 
Somali Games. In: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 1931; 61: 499-511.
Pankhurst, R.
Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Ethiopia Observer 1971; 14 (3): 187-182.
Russ, L.
The Complete Mancala Games Book: How to Play the Worlds Oldest Board Games. Marlowe & Company, New York (USA) 2000, 47-48.


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