Mancala World
Other Names: Isumbi
First Description: Assia
Popova, 1979
Cycles: Two
Ranks: Four
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Tanzania

Isolo (according to Kalumbete also called Isumbi) is the name of three related mancala games of the Sukuma in Tanzania. This is the most simple variant, which is played by girls.


The board consists of four rows with eight holes each.

The game begins with 2 seeds per hole.

The right to start the first game is determined at random. In the following games, players alternate.


Initial Position

Each player controls the two rows next to her. All sowings are only on the player's own side.

On her turn, the player takes all the seeds from a hole on her side, which contains at least two seeds, and sows them counterclockwise, one by one, into the following holes.

If the last seed of a lap is dropped into an empty hole, the move ends.

If the last seed of a lap is sown in a hole that doesn't permit a capture, she takes all the seeds of this hole and keeps on sowing.

If the last seed of a lap falls in a hole of the inner row and the opponent's holes that are opposite have any seeds, she captures them. The captures are then sown in another lap starting at the same hole where the lap began that effected the capture.

If, on her turn, a player cannot move (she has no seeds or all of them are singletons), she has lost the game.

See also


Kalumbete, B. B.
ISOLO, or Bao played by the Sukuma. April 1, 2001. [Published Email]
Popova, A.
Isolo: Jeu Royal des Sukuma. In: Cahiers d'Études Africaines 1979; 19 (73-76): 111-123.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Víktor Bautista i Roca.
Under the CC by-sa 2.5.