Mancala is not just used as the name of a game, but also used as the name for the whole Mancala Family of pit-and-pebble games. The game known as Mancala in the USA is best known in Africa as Wari.
Play involves scooping up pebbles from a pit and sowing the pebbles, one at a time, into the other pits. These games were probably created in Africa hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago.
The board for a “standard” Mancala game is composed of two by six pits, and a larger scoring pit on each side. Two players sit across from each other over the board. The large scoring pit to each player’s right is “her” scoring pit; This version of 14 holes (12 Ambros and two Kalahas) have been found in ancient Egyptian temples and tomb excavations in the Valley of The Nile shows the game being played on the wall paintings.
A similar game is also found around the Caravan Rutes from Asia.
In India the Maharajas played against each other using rubys and saphires.
In Egypt the game was often played in coffee houses, where the loser of the game was the one to pay the bill.
In other places of Africa it was often played by Tribe Chiefs where the winner recived the betting pot – Female slaves.