Mancala World

Um el Bagara → German.

Um el Bagara
Other Names: Mangala
First Description: R.
Davies, 1925
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Sudan

Um el Bagara ("cow game"), also named Mangala, is played among the Kababish Arabs living on the fringe of the northern desert in Kordofan Province, Sudan. It is primarily enjoyed during the fasting month of Ramadan, when the game whiles away the time and enables the players to forget their hunger and thirst. The game was first described by R. Davies in 1925 who reported the following:

Sometimes they forget too completely, as when a tornado, accompanied by hail, broke over the encampment of the Nazir of the Kababish in June, and he, absorbed in a game of Um el Banat, popped into his mouth a large hailstone, which melted before he realized, with dismay, that he had broken the fast.

Um el Bagara was marketed in the USA by the Great American Trading Company.


The rules are identical to Alemungula with the sole exception that singletons cannot be moved. At the end of the game any stones left on a player's side of the board are added to those in his store.


Davies, R.
Some Arab Games and Puzzles. In: Sudan Notes & Records 1925; 8: 137-152.

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By: Ralf Gering.
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