Game board

African, Dan peoples, Liberia / Cote d'Ivoire
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified

Object Place: Liberia or Ivory Coast


Overall: 10 x 55.5 x 15.3 cm (3 15/16 x 21 7/8 x 6 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood (with metal repairs)

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

Mankala is one of the oldest board games in the world. It is played in many forms, including hollows scooped out of the earth, using seeds, pebbles or shells for the pieces, or with a specially carved wooden board. This particular example, with its carved wooden form and worn surfaces appeal to minimalist aesthetics.


in marker on underside of back foot: "GA2"


1971, sold by Reba Stewart, Monrovia, Liberia, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart