Mancala World
First Description: Benjamin
F. Matthes, 1859
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Indonesia (Celebes)

Galatjang is a minor variant of Congkak, which is played in the south of Celebes, one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia. The game was first described in a Dutch-Makassarese dictionary published in 1859.

The game is played with nickernuts (Caesalpinia bonduc) on a wooden board. In the 19th century, Galatjang boards have been collected by the Völkerkundemuseum Berlin (Germany) and the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden (Netherlands).

Matthes reported that it was customary the play the game during the time of mourning.


Galatjang is played on a board with 2x7 smaller holes known as "kalobang" and a large store called "anrong" at either end. A player's store is to his right.

Each playing pit contains seven seeds at the start of the game.


Initial Position

The game proceeds in the same manner as Congkak except for the following differences:

  • All moves including the first ones are performed turnwise.
  • Sowing is counterclockwise.
  • After the first round ended, players fill each of their holes with seven seeds. Surplus seeds are left in the player's store, but any holes that cannot be filled are said to be burnt ("balla") and not used in the following round. The game is finished, when a player is unable to fill even a single hole with seven seeds.


Kaudern, W.
Ethnographical Studies in Celebes. Kruyt, AC, 's-Gravenhage (Netherlands) 1929 (Volume IX).
Matthes, B. F.
Makassaarsch-Hollandsch Woordenboek met Hollandsch-Makassaarsche woordenlijst en verklaring van een tot opheldering bijgevoegden Ethnographischen atlas. Frederik Muller, Amsterdam (Netherlands) 1859, 84 & 898.


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