Mancala World
Round-and-Round Warri
Other Names: French Wari,
Round De Town, Rounders
First Description: Melville
J. Herskovits, 1932
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Barbados, St. Lucia

Round-and-Round Warri is one of two mancala games played on Barbados and St. Lucia. The game is also called Rounders or French Wari. It is a variant of Ayoayo, which is played in Nigeria. The other mancala game known on Barbados is Barbados Warri or "English Wari".

The game was still played in the late 1990s, when De Voogt visited Barbados. However, Russ reported that according to a Barbados newspaper from March 3, 1974, was "not being taken up by the younger generation and is in danger from vanishing from the island".

The game is mostly played by children and women.


According to Herskovits, who is usually a reliable source, the game has the same rules as Ayoayo except that a player captures the contents of the opposite hole, whenever his last seed falls into an empty hole. He wrote:

" It makes no difference if he ends on his own side or that of his opponent, he captures the seeds in the cup opposite the empty one in which he ends his play."

Herskovits didn't mention that the emptied hole is skipped when it contained twelve or more seeds, or that the opponent must be "fed", if he has no seeds in his holes.

He also didn't write that the seeds that are left on the board after the game had ended are given to the player who owns their holes, although it is very likely.

The player who got 25 seeds or more wins.


Herskovits, M. J. 
Wari in the New World. In: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 1932; 62: 23-37.
Murray, H. J. R.
A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford University Press, Oxford (England) 1951, 202.
Russ, L.
The Complete Mancala Games Book: How to Play the World's Oldest Board Games. Marlowe & Company, New York (USA) 2000, 29.
Voogt, A. J. de.
Mancala Board Games. British Museum Press, London (UK) 1997.


© Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.