group of men playing manqala and others watching the game

Al Mancala Game is a traditional game played by people of Al Salt and is considered as a part of the identity of people in Al Salt. The men gather very frequently to play this game combining intelligence and mathematical meditation. The main instrument of the game consists of a rectangular wooden piece with fourteen holes or pits carved into it, 7 holes on each side. Each Player begins by placing seven stones in each pit in the row in his side, so the whole numbers of stones becomes 49.
The game is based on the method of rotating the stones counterclockwise. The player picks up all the stones from the first hole and distributes them, one by one, into each subsequent hole until they finish and take the stones from the last hole and count them. If there is only one stone left, the player stops counting. However, if there are three or more stones left, the player continues playing. If there is a single stone left in a hole, it is called “Al-Qur’ah” (the lottery). The player stops counting and their opponent starts playing.

- Archives of the Heritage Directorate / Ministry of Culture
- Intangible Cultural Heritage in Al-Balqa Governorate - Ministry of Culture 2017
- Jordanian traditional games, D. Ahmed Sharif Al-Zoubi, Ministry of Culture
- Jordanian Folklore Thesaurus, Ministry of Culture, 2021