|Main congkak, congklak|
| Played in: |
|Stores are sown into|
|Holes captured between games|
| usually 5 or 7,|
sometimes 9 holes per row
Congkak is short for main congkak (in Indonesia also: congklak; Indonesian for "cowrie shell"). It is a mancala game which is popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is usually played by women. Congkak was first described outside of Asia in 1894 by the American ethnographer Stewart Culin.
Many congkak tournaments are organized for children in Malaysia, e.g. in Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu, Pekan and Seremban. Several hotels in southern Borneo offer congkak courses to tourists. Since 2004, the Malaysian Embassy and the Malaysian Association in France sponsore each year a congkak tournament to spread Malaysian culture in Europe.
Congkak employs an oblong game board called papan congkak, which has two rows each one with five to nine playing pits. These pits are called lubang kampung ("village") or lubang anak ("child") in Malaysia. Most widespread are boards with 2x7 playing pits. In addition, there is at either end a large store hole, called lubang rumah ("house") for the captured counters. Each player owns the store to his left.
Each of the small pits contains at the beginning of the game as many counters (usually cowrie shells or tamarind seeds called anak-anak buah in Malaysia) as each row counts small pits.
The object of the game is to capture most stones.
Comparison to other games
The game differs from kalah in being a multiple lap game. More difference to kalah is that congkak is played clockwise and that the first move is made simultaneously.
Sungka is played counter-clockwise and has a different cultural background, but is otherwise almost identical.
- (undated) Congklak: Traditional Game of Indonesia. Expat Web Site Association. [Web site] [1997-2006.]
- Culin, S.
- (1894) 'Mancala: The National Game of Africa', in Report of the National Museum (Philadelphia (USA)): 597-611.
- Hellier, M.
- (1907) 'Notes on the Malay Game Jongkak', inJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Straits Branch); 49: 93.
- Malaysian Wiki Collective.
- (2005) 'Congkak', in Wikipedia. [Web site]
- Overbeck, H.
- (1915) 'New Notes on the Game of Chongkak', in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Straits Branch); 57: 8.
- Skeat, W. W.
- (1900) Malay Magic, London: 485.
- Wilkinson R. J.
- (1915) Papers on Malay Subjects, Kuala Lumpur: 57.
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