Kalah

Every African plays some version of kalah, for example, mancala or awari. The game can be simple enough for children as young as five, or complex enough for to satisfy more experienced players.

What You Need:


If the carton lid has writing in it,
tape a piece of paper inside.

  • Egg carton, with lid
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 36 marbles, beans, pebbles, pieces of uncooked macaroni, or other small items to serve as "counters"

Instructions:

1. Assemble gameboard. Using your scissors, cut the lid off the egg carton. Then, cut the lid in half, across its width.

2. Attach trays. Tape one lid-half to one end of the egg carton, to make a tray. Repeat the opposite end of the carton. The trays are called kalahs.

Playing the Game:

1. Face each other. Players place the game board between them as they sit across from each other. Each player takes a row of 6 spaces.

2. Start the game. Place 3 counters in each of your 6 spaces, while your opponent puts 3 counters in each of his spaces.

3. Try to collect the most counters in your kalah. To begin, pick all the counters in one of your spaces. Moving counter clockwise, put one counter in each of the next spaces you come to. You can put a counter in your own kalah, but if, later in the game, you reach your opponent's kalah, skip it and put the counter in the next space. If the last counter in your hand lands in your kalah, take another turn. Otherwise, it is your opponent's turn.

4. Capture the counters. If your last counter lands in one of your opponent's empty spaces, take all the counters in the opposite space and put them in your kalah.

5. Tally the counters. When one player's spaces are empty, the other player -- the one whose spaces are not empty -- moves all the remaining counters to his kalah. Then each player tallies the number of counters in his kalah, and the one with the most wins.