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The Origin of Congklak, Traces of Ancient Cultural Heritage which is Now a Traditional Game

Holiday Ayo - Congklak is a very ancient cultural heritage. This traditional game is known by various names throughout Indonesia. Reporting from, Congklak is played by two players in one game. The equipment used in this game is a congklak board and 98 seeds called congklak seeds or congklak fruit.

source: Cendekia Harapan

Generally, congklak boards are made of wood or plastic. Meanwhile, the seeds are in the form of shells, seeds, rocks, marbles or plastic. On the congklak board there are 16 holes consisting of 14 small holes facing each other and 2 large holes on both sides. Every 7 small holes on the player's side and the large hole on the right side are considered to belong to the player.

Some experts say that congklak comes from Arab countries. In the Middle East, this traditional game has long been known as "Mancala". The name "Mancala" itself comes from the Arabic word "Naqala" which means moving.

Meanwhile, in Africa, congklak is often called "Wari". This name refers to the concave part of the congklak board. This part is called "Awari" which means house. However, please note that this traditional congklak game does not originate from Indonesia.

source: Sustagen Indonesia

With the influx of traders from other countries into Indonesia, it cannot be denied that there is a cultural exchange between foreign traders and the native Indonesian population. This is where the traditional game of congklak began to enter Indonesia.

During an excavation by archaeologists from National Geographic, a slab made of limestone was found in Jordan. The plate is elongated with several depressions. Experts concluded that the plate was a traditional congklak game board that originated around 5000-7000 BC. They believe that congklak comes from a very ancient culture and is possibly one of the oldest games.

Several other experts argue that congklak was brought by the Middle East to the African plains, then spread to Asia through the slave trade carried out by African traders in the Caribbean islands around the 17th century.

source: Hipwee

Meanwhile, in 1983, at a site that was previously known as a pottery factory, a congklak piece made of clay was discovered. Currently, this piece is kept as a historical banda at the National Museum of Indonesia. In Indonesia itself, this game has many different names in each region. In Java, congklak is better known as Dakon.

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