Mancala World

Dogon → German, Portuguese.

Inventor: Ralf Gering,
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

Dogon was invented by Ralf Gering in Hain (Germany) on March 6, 2010. It is a variant of Oware, which reminds of Alemungula.

There are two minor variations: Dogon "kulei" and Dogon "gagara". Kulei is Dogon for "six" and gagara is Dogon for "eight", Dogon "kulei" is played on a 2x6 board, while Dogon "gagara" needs a 2x8 board.

The game is named after the Dogon people in Mali because of their fantastic architecture – villages built into the cliff like some “pueblos” in America’s Southwest.


In Dogon "kulei", players have 4 seeds in each hole at the start. In Dogon "gagara", they have six seeds per hole. Seeds are captured as in Oware. Sowing is single lap and the original hole is skipped, if you get enough seeds to sow a full round.


Initial Position (Dogon "kulei")

Dogon village, Cliff of Bandiagara (Mali)

The differences are:

  • seeds are sown in either direction
  • however, at least one seed must be dropped into the opponent's row
  • singletons cannot be sown unless they capture
  • players are permitted to capture all the opponent's seeds so that he cannot move
  • they don't have to "feed" their opponents
  • players must play unless there is no move, in which case they must pass until they can move again

Mesa Verde Pueblo (Colorado, USA)

  • for every move a player has passed he has to "pay" his opponent two seeds (i.e. transfer two captured seeds to him) unless the opponent has passed the move before, which would then end the game
  • if a player cannot pay his opponent, the game ends on the spot and the remaining seeds are awarded to the player who moved last
  • otherwise each player receives the seeds that are left in his holes after each player has passed

The player who got the most seeds wins. If both players captured the same number, the game is a draw.

External Links


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