Maldivian Mancala (Ovvalhugondi) played on a rectangular wooden board with eight wells on either side of the long side, with one bigger well on each short side. Nickernuts and pristine Cowrie shells go well together with our ovvalhugondi for the perfect game.


There are many variants of Mancala such as ‘oware’ the one played in Ghana but in the Maldives it’s called ‘ovvalhugondi’ or more commonly ‘laagulha’ which is also the local name of the nickernuts that were popularly used to play the game in the olden days. The variant’s game play is similar in that players begin by placing a certain number of seeds, prescribed for the particular game, in each of the pits on the game board. In the case of ‘ovvalhugondi’ four seed pieces, usually ‘laagulha’ are put into the sixteen holes (excluding the larger holes used as banks) on the wooden game board. A player may count their seeds to plot the game. A turn consists of removing all seeds from a pit, placing one in each of the following pits in sequence and capturing based on the state of the board. The objective of the game is to plant the most seeds in the bank. Once a player ends his/her turn in an empty pit on his/her own side, he/she captures the opponent’s pieces directly across. Once captured, the player gets to put the captured seeds in his/her own bank. After a capture the opponent forfeits a turn. Our ‘ovvalhugondi’ comes with either the regular sixteen hole board or for a smaller experience, you can opt for the twelve hole board. We also sell cowrie shells in addition to the usual ‘laagulha’ so that you can have a memorable and refined traditional game at leisure.


8 hole only, 8 hole with 128 boli, 8 hole with varnished only, 8 hole varnished with 128 boli


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