Mancala World
Other Names: Hefari (?),
Hefira (?)
First Description: Viktor
Bautista i Roca, 2008
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Morocco

Koumma is a mancala game from Ouled M'taâ, a small village near Marrakesh (Morocco). It was played by the Arabic-speaking population in this predominantly Berber-speaking area. The game was popular among young shepherds, but is no longer played today. It was a pastime at noon, while the animals were resting.

Usually the holes were dug in the ground and sheep or goat droppings were used as gaming pieces.

The game is similar to Um ed-Dyar, which is played in Western Sahara. According to a local historian, the people of Ouled M'taâ were an Arabic tribe which in the 11th century was deported to different places, one of them the present day Ouled M'taâ.

People from the Ourika Valley have mancala games known as Hefira or Hefari that could be similar to Koumma.

Koumma was first described by Viktor Bautista i Roca in 2008. His informant was Abdelhadi D'Bachq, the Ouled M'Taâ primary school director.


The board consists of two rows, each one with three holes.

At the start every hole contains six counters.


Initial Position

The rules are identical to Um ed-Dyar except for the following:

  • In addition, the contents of the ensuing holes (in an unbroken sequence) containing 2, 4 or 6 pieces are captured (in Um ed-Dyar the contents of preceding holes are captured).

After the game the winner hides one piece in a hole and fills all holes with sand. Then the looser must blow into the holes to find the piece.


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