Mancala World

Richard Pankhurst was born in 1927 in London, England, in a progressive, left-wing family.

His mother, Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was a renowned Ethiopian activist, feminist and outspoken anti-fascist. His grandfather, Richard Marsden Pankhurst, was a liberal lawyer who was known as the "Red Doctor".

After Pankhurst received his Ph.D. in Economic History in 1956, he began to teach at the University College of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In 1962, Dr. Pankhurst founded the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at the University of Addis Ababa. He was the first director of the institute from 1962 - 1972.

In 1976, following the Ethiopian revolution, Dr. Pankhurst left Ethiopia and returned to England. In the next ten years he worked as a librarian at the Royal Asiatic Society.

In 1986, Dr. Pankhurst moved back to Ethiopia, where he is now conducting research again at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies.

Dr. Pankhurst has co-authored 22 books and has either edited or compiled 17 books on Ethiopia. In addition, he has written more than 400 scholarly articles about Ethiopian history, culture, and tradition that appeared in numerous academic journals, magazines and newspapers throughout the world.

Richard Pankhurst studied mancala games in Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and South Sudan from where he described more than a hundred games for the first time; e.g. Ayit, Alemungula, Andada, Anywoli, Baré, Dabuda, Fergen Goobalay, Gelech, Hesa, Hufesay, Lahemay Waladat, Lamlameta, Latho, Luuth, Qelat (Beni Amir & Mensa), Qelat (Keren), Rio Kadalis, Sadeqa I, Sadeqa II, Sadeqa III, Selus, Tegre, Tok Ku Rou, Yit Jani and Yit Nuri. He is also interested in Sentherej, the traditional Ethiopian Chess.

Research Articles on Board Games

Pankhurst, R. 
Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Ethiopia Observer 1971; 14 (3): 154-206.
Pankhurst, R. 
The History and Principles of Ethiopian Chess. In: Journal of Ethiopian Studies 1971; 11 (2): 149-172.
Pankhurst, R. 
Board Games of the Horn of Africa. In: Horn of Africa 1980/81; 3 (4): 41-45.
Pankhurst, R. 
Gabata and Other Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Azania 1982; 17: 27-42.
Pankhurst, R. 
A Note on Ethiopian Chess. In: Tezeta (undated).

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