Mancala World
Yit Nuri
Other Names: Ngar
First Description: Richard
Pankhurst, 1971
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: South Sudan

Yit Nuri (literally "game of calculation"), also known as Ngar ("trick") is a mancala game of the Nuer people in South Sudan. The game was first described by Richard Pankhurst in 1971. The Nuer are a pastoral people, which is mirrored in specifeic terms used in the game: a counter is sometimes called a yung ("cow"), a large clusters of counters is being spoken of as tut ("bull").

Yit Nuri is similar to Anywoli, Ba-awa and Obridjie. It is also closely related to another Nuer game known as Yit Jani and a mancala game of the Dinka called Ayit.


The game is similar to Anywoli except the following:

  • Each one of the two rows has just seven holes. A hole, however, still contains four seeds known as domdom ("ball") or yung ("cow").


Initial Position

  • Richard Pankhurst claimed that his informant had told him that the last eight seeds (gokni = "to begin") are invariably awarded to the first player. This might be a misunderstanding because such a rule would give the first player an enormous advantage to the extent that he would always win the game. It is strongly recommended not to use this rules which appears to be erroneous.

When a group of four counters is formed, the player who wins them says: "Ciyanda deth" (literally my cow gave birth).


Pankhurst, R. 
Gabata and Related Board Games of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In: Ethiopia Observer 1971; 14 (3): 203-204.


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