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 Walaga in western Ethiopia. The game is a popular pastime of young herdsman. It was described as (Game 92) by Richard Pankhurst.


The game is played on a board (sadeqa) of two rows, each one with eight holes (mana; literally "house"). Initially each hole contains six pebbles (daga; i.e. "stone").


Initial Position

On his turn a player distributes the stones of one of his holes, one by one, in counterclockwise direction into the ensuing holes.

If the last stone falls into a non-empty hole, its contents are distributed in another lap.

The move ends when the last stone is dropped into an empty hole.

If the last stone is dropped into an empty hole of the players's own row, the contents of the opposite hole of his opponent are captured. The stone, which caused the capture, is not taken.

The game ends when a player can't move.

The stones that are still on the board, are captured by the player who moved last.

The player who captured more stones wins the game. If both players captured the same number, the game is a draw.


Richard Pankhurst wrote that the same game is often played in Walaga starting with just four seeds per hole. This variation (Game 91) is also known as Sadeqa).


Pankhurst, R. 
Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Ethiopia Observer 1971; 14 (3): 200-201.


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