Mancala World
First Description: Richard
Pankhurst, 1971
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: Ethiopia

Sadeqa is the generic name for mancala games known in the southwest of Ethiopia and nearby South Sudan.

This particular variant is played in the town of Dembi Dolo in far western Ethiopia. The game is a popular pastime in the "taj" (drinking houses), where it is played on wooden boards. It was described as (Game 93) by Richard Pankhurst.


The game is played on a board of two rows, each one with six holes. Initially each hole contains three seeds.


Initial Position

The game is played in a counterclowise direction. If the last seed falls into an occupied hole, its contents are distributed in another lap. A move ends, if the last seed is dropped into an empty hole.

The opening move must start from the the player's extreme right hole.

If the hole opposite to the hole where the move ended was non-empty its contents are removed from the board. Sides doesn't matter.

The game ends, if a player cannot move at the start of his turn

The player who has still occupied holes in his row wins the game.


Pankhurst, R. 
Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Ethiopia Observer 1971; 14 (3): 201.


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