Mancala is the generic term for a “count and capture” game played in many cultures and communities throughout the world. Particularly popular on the African continent, the object of the game is to capture more pieces (usually seeds) than one¿s opponent. The rules of the game vary widely, but multiple rows of cup-shaped depressions form the basic structure of all mancala boards. Among the Dan peoples, two-row boards with six or seven cups per row are common, as is the inclusion of a head at the top end. The detailed carvings that decorate this piece transform it from a functional object to an emblem of status and luxury.