Mancala World

Worri → Deutsch.

First Description: George J. H.,
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps (?)
Region: Bahamas

Worri is a mancala game played on the Bahamas. The game was first reported by George J. H. Northcroft who observed it in 1899 at Fort Winton 10 miles east of Nassau. Its rules have not yet been described, but it can be assumed that they are similar to Oware.

The game is also mentioned by Michael Craton and Gail Saunders in their book "Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People". They wrote:

"Minor popular diversions deriving from Africa included (...) the ingenious board-and-bead game called worri. The latter, played either on a portable board fashioned from hardwood or one etched in the horizontal plaster or masonry of a building (an ancient example of which Northcroft noted at Winton Fort in 1899), rivaled dice, cards, and dominoes into the twentieth century."

De Voogt stated in his book "Mancala Board Games" (1997) that immigrants from Haiti introduced the game to the Bahamas, which is wrong. At the time Northcroft described the game, there were no Haitian immigrants to the Bahamas.

External Links

  • Historic Forts of Nassau
  • This video includes footage of Afro-Bahamians (claimed to have been originated in the Congo) in Grantstown playing the game in 1919. In fact, however, most of the enslaved Africans brought to The Bahamas were West African.


Craton, M. & Saunders, G.
Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People. From the Ending of Slavery to the Twenty-First Century (Volume 2). University of Georgia Press, Athens GA (USA) 1998, 124.
Northcroft, G. J. H.
Sketches of Summerland: Giving Some Account of Nassau and the Bahama Islands. Office of the Nassau Guardian, Nassau (Bahamas) 1900.
Voogt, A. J. de.
Mancala Board Games. British Museum Press, London (UK) 1997, 18.


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