Mancala World

Woll → German.

First Description: Frederick
Henry Robertson, 1936
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Jamaica

Woll was mentioned by Frederick Henry Robertson of Constant Spring Road, Halfway Tree, Jamaica, in his patented mancala game. Sanded fragments of 18th century English earthen wares, which interpreted as mancala counters were found at Drax Hall Estate, an African-American plantation site in Jamaica.

Woll was probably played with nickernuts, which are still called "wari" (a common name for Oware and other board games in West Africa) in Jamaican English. Today mancala games appear to be almost extinct on the island.


Robertson didn't give the rules to the game, but it is probably played similar to his patented multi-player variant without perhaps the so-called "honours". The only major difference when compared to Oware is that players may either capture a groups of two's or three's, but not a mixture of them.

External Links


Cassidy, F. G. & Le Page, R. B.
Dictionary of Jamaican English. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK), 1967.
Robertson, F. H. 
Improvements in and Relating to Games Apparatus (GB 476,480). UK Patent Office, London (UK) December 9, 1937.


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