Toguz Kumalak Game Boards
Click the centre image to enlarge it
Toguz Kumalak ("nine pebbles") is the Kazakh name of a mancala game also known as Toguz Korgool ("nine dung balls") in Kyrgyz. The number 'nine' has a high significance in the folk beliefs and mythology of Central Asian peoples. It was considered auspicious. The Kyrgyz once divided the year into 40 weeks (one for every Kyrgyz tribe), each with nine days.
The game is played in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the Republic of Karakalpakstan in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, among the Kyrgyz in north-eastern Afghanistan, parts of Russia, by the Kazakh minority in western Mongolia and in north-western China.
I made two game boards, one from Ash and Nogal and one from Black Walnut and Maple. Design called for the board to be able to fold and shut. Attractive brass clasps secure the board in the closed position. The boards were sealed and finished with Danish Oil, a penetrating resin. The colours that you see are those of the finished woods. No stains or dyes were used.
Each side of the game board is about 17" x 7" x 3/4" (43 x 18 x 2 cm). The troughs are about 3/8" deep (1 cm).