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Sungka → German.


Other Names: Kunggit,

Sungca, Sunka, Chuncajon

First Description: Priest Father José sanchez


Cycles: One

Ranks: Two

Sowing: Multiple laps

Region: Philippines

Sungka is a Philippine mancala game, which is now also played wherever Philippine migrants are living;
e.g. in Macau, Taiwan, Germany, and the USA. Like the closely related Congkak it is traditionally a
women's game.

Sungka was first described by the Jesuit priest Father José Sanchez in his dictionary of the Bisaya
language (=Cebuano) in 1692 [manuscript] as Kunggit. Father José Sanchez who had arrived on the
Philippines in 1643 wrote that at the game was played with seashells on a wooden, boat-like board. The
Aklanon people still call the game Kunggit. José Sanchez (born Josef Zanzini [*1616-1692) in Trieste, Holy
Roman Empire of the German Nation) is known for founding the town of Jagna on Bohol, which is today
famous for its rich historical heritage.

There are Sungka tournaments in the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Austria, England and the USA. The
biggest competition is held each year at the Kadayawan Sports Festival in Davao. In May 2006, the
Philippine Empassy compound in Pretoria, South Africa, hosted a Sungka tournament during the ASEAN
Games and Sports, which was held under the auspices of ASEAN Embassies based in South Africa. The six
winners for the first Sungka game competition were participants from the following embassies: Vietnam,
1st; Malaysia, 2nd; Malaysia, 3rd; Indonesia, 4th; Philippines, 5th and Indonesia, 6th. In 2008, the
Philippine Language and Cultural Association of Australia, Inc. (PLCAA) organized a Sungka competition
at the Sydney Regatta Centre, Penrith. The Department of Computer Studies at the Imperial College of
Science in London (England) held a computer tournament in 2004.
It is known that Sungka improves mathematical thinking and teaches patience and observation skills.
The John W. Garvy Elementary School in Chicago (Illinois, USA) uses Sungka to help children with
dyscalculia. Sungka is similar to many other Southern Asian mancala games such as Naranj (Maldives),
Dakon (Java), Congkak (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia) and Chongka' (Marianas). The game differs from
Kalah which is known in North America and Europe in being a multi-lap game. Another important
difference is that the first move is executed simultaneously in Sungka which is meant to balance the
game. Sungka is distinguished from Congkak by being played counterclockwise and also by some other
minor rule differences.

Rules Playing sungka

The oblong game board (sungka(h)an), which is usually carved in wood consists of two rows of seven
small pits called "houses" (bahay). In addition, there is a large store known as "head" (ulo) or "mother"
(inay) for the captured stones at either end of the board. A player owns the store to his left.