Mancala World

Urim → German, Portuguese.

Other Names: Huri, Ouri,
Ourim, Òrè, Ori, Ôrim, Ourim,
Uri, Uril, Urinca
First Description: Elísio
Romariz Santos Silva, 1994
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Cape Verde

Urim is a close variant of Oware, which is played on the island of Brava, Cape Verde and by Cape Verdean migrants in Angola. It is related to Orôà, a mancala game from Guinea-Bissau. Urim is played on wooden boards (banco de ouri) with seeds of Caesalpinia crista L. (nickernuts) by men.

The rules of the game differ slightly from island to island.


The rules are similar to Oware.


  • A row can number either six or seven pits.
  • Captures are effected, if the last seed (urin) makes a two or a three on the opponent's side (as in Oware), but the contents of preceding pits are won when they contain twos, threes or fours (!) in a continuous chain as long as they are too on the opponent's side.
  • A pit may not contain more than 17 seeds.
  • A player gets two points, when he wins 3/4 of the total number of seeds (36 or 42 depending on the size of the board), one point, when he has got less, but more than half of the available seeds.

Cape Verdean Riddle

In Cape Verdean Creole:

Doze boc', quarenta e oit' den' -- ouri


Twelve mouths, forty-eight dents -- Ouri

See also


Carreira, A.
Mandingas da Guiné Portuguesa: Publicação Comemorativa do V Centenário da Descoberta da Guiné. Centro de Estudos da Guiné Portuguesa, Lisbon (Portugal) 1947, 216.
DeAraujo, C. G.
Bean Counters: Cape Verdean Game Requires Logic, Math. In: The Standard-Times 31th January, 1999.
Fraga, A. & Santos, T.
Ouri, um Jogo Mancala. In: Educação e Matemática. 2004; 76 (1): 9-11.
Graça, A.
Jogo de Oril: Regras, Estratégias e Teorias. Edição da ONDS (Organização Nacional da Diáspora Solidária), Mindelo (Cabo Verde) 1998.
Halter, M. 
Between Race and Ethnicity: Cape Verdean American Immigrants, 1860-1965. University of Illlinois Press, Chicago IL (USA) 1993, 154.
Miranda, N. de
Compreensão de Cabo Verde. Junta de Investigaçãoes do Ultramar, Lisbon (Portugal) 1963, 48.
Nogueira, G.
Ouril: Douze Boca Quarenta e Oit Dent. In: Novo Jornal Cabo Verde 1994; ano 1, n° 96: 8.
Santos Silva, E.
O Ouri: Um Jogo Caboverdiano e a Sua Prática em Portugal. Associação de Professores de Matemática, Lisbon (Portugal) 1994.


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