Anthropomorphic Mancala Game Board
Tribal Art Object, Dan Tribe, Ivory Coast / Liberia

H: 28"
Inventory # 10588

The word mancala is the term for a family of games played on a board like this, with 2 or 4 rows of depressions. Typically, the object of mancala games is to capture more pieces (which are usually seeds, shells, beans, or stones) than the opponent; sometimes, one seeks to leave the opponent with no legal move or to have one side empty first in order to win. Mancala games play a role in many African cultures, and are known by other names as well, such as Bao. This piece was carved from a single piece of wood.