Offline Family Board Games

A primary motivation of establishing Mancala Games was to join the movement away from digital devices. Even Google's newest Andriod mobile operating system includes ways for us to track and limit our digital device usage. As society attempts to become more aware of our actual surroundings a demand for "offline" human interactions will increase.

Children Learning Mancala

Although, almost every board game ever created has an "App for that", board games are meant to be played using all of our senses. Humans have evolved through natural selection with two dominating traits that attract us to board games: problem-solving and pattern recognition. Combine those traits with some friendly competition and a little free time and have the perfect recipe for the birth of a board game.

As our self-awareness evolves, engineered digital games will eventually exhaust their tactics to keep our attention. We will eventually become wise to the fact that staring into and tapping a smooth back-lit surface that radiates radio waves may not best for our health. After all, our fingers were designed to experience texture, our eyes were designed to see three-dimensional unpixelated objects, and we all desire companionship. These realizations will be the revitalized driving force behind the continued demand for board games.

Brothers Playing Mancala

Playing a family board game around a kitchen table in the evening with some low amber lights or candles, and maybe a glass of wine is the recipe for a good time. Take time to feel the weight and texture of the game pieces and let your eyes adjust to the depth of a "front-lit" game board. Soak up some good conversation, both verbal and non-verbal queues, and enjoy the game!
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Mancala Boards From Around The Web

We are always searching for beautifully crafted Mancala boards. Of course, visual appeal is only one factor, we also consider durability, functionality, and materials used.

Here are some of our favorites:



Made by Three Trees Workshop
Made by JohnEs Woodworking
Sold by Yellow Mountain Imports

Do you have a favorite Mancala board? Do you sell or manufacture a Mancala board? If you answer is yes, please comment below.
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Sowing Mancala Seeds

Did Mancala Games Originate From Early Farming?


Mancala gameplay revolves around "sowing" your pieces around a game board. According to Wikipedia Sowing is "the process of planting". Thousands of years ago humans very much depended on farming as we do today. However, there were no grocery stores, supply chains, machines, and the robust worldwide economy that we have today.

It's interesting that most Mancala boards consist of long rows of pits or stores. It's also very interesting that most seed based farming consists of long rows where seeds are sowed. As you can see from the images below one can only imagine how Mancala originated.

Planting Galic in Rows

Sowing Seeds in Rows

Playing Mancala in Dirt with Seeds
Playing Oware on Ground with Rocks

Perhaps one hot sunny day, several thousand years ago, two farmers decided to take a break in the shade of a tree. They had been planting seeds all morning long and the hottest part of the day was upon them. They lifted their heavy sacks of seeds off their backs and sat down. Perhaps they became bored or maybe one of the farmers was just learning how to layout a farm plot, and the dirt beneath them was used to teach. Either way, the connection between farming and Mancala seems more than random. A game of sorts could easily develop between players with nothing more than seeds, dirt holes, and an imagination. 

Mancala is so old there really is no "official" origin or inventor so one must use their imagination. 
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