Mancala World

El Arnab → Italian.

El Arnab
First Description: R.
Davies, 1925
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Sudan

El Arnab (Arabic for "the rabbit") is one mancala puzzle among many played by the Kababish in Sudan. Others are Liba(t) Iblîs ("the devils game"), El Agrab ("the scorpion") and "the story of the two maidens".

The game is a solitaire as it is played by just one person.


El Arnab is played in eight holes made in the sand that initially contain counters as shown in the following diagram.


Initial Position

The hole containing three counters is of course the head. Behind it are the fore-feet; with two counters each; then the loins, with one each; then the hind-feet, with two each; and finally the tail, with one counter.

The puzzle-monger picks up the two counters in the marked fore-foot hole and distributes them one by one in a counter-clockwise direction in the usual multi-lap fashion including all holes.

The first surprising thing is that it never happens that the last counter to be dropped falls into an empty hole.

The second, and this is the point of the puzzle, is that after the counter-distribution has gone twenty-six times round the board but not before, the rabbit reappears in its original shape.


Davies, R. 
Some Arab Games and Puzzles. In: Sudan Notes & Records 1925; 8: 137-152.


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