Sungka Board

The game, Sungka, is usually played on a long and narrow board that is usually carved from wood.  There are many cups cut into the Sungka board, sixteen in total: two rows of seven small cups and a further larger cup at each end.

The Sungka board is also known as a sungkahan.  The small cups are called "bahays" (houses) and each of the larger cups is referred to as the "ulo" (head).

The Sungka playing pieces are small shells, usually small cowrie shells, but sometimes people play with beads or other small objects, such as sunflower seeds.  There should be 98 shells in a full set of Sungka.

The Sungka board: sungkahan

The picture above shows one style of board.  Sungka boards can be made in many different shapes and sizes.  They can be large or small, made from wood or metal and are sometimes cut from very exotic shapes representing wonderful animals such as geckos, dragons or whatever the creator happened to be inspired by at the time.

Sungka boards are also not always symmetrical!

Now you know what the board looks like, let's get to the rules of Sungka!