Traditional intelligence and strategy game: Togyzqumalaq, Toguz Korgool, Mangala/Göçürme

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Inscribed in 2020 (15.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Togyzqumala q Federation/National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic to UNESCO/Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, 2019

Traditional intelligence and strategy game: Togyzqumalaq, Toguz Korgool, Mangala/Göçürme is a traditional game which can be played on special boards or improvised ones such as pits on the ground. The game can be played with pellets made of stone, wood, metal and bone, nuts, or seeds, which are distributed across the pits; the player who gathers the most pellets wins the game. There are several variations of the game. For example, the board can have two, three, four, six or nine pits arranged in order according to the number of players, and the duration varies according to the number of players. In the submitting States, the element is linked to other traditional crafts such as wood and stone carving and jewellery making. Wood and stone carving masters and jewellers make elaborately decorated boards and pellets as well as practical ones, reflecting traditional worldviews and their artistic creativity. The game improves players’ cognitive, motor and social skills and strategic and creative thinking, and teaches them to be patient and considerate. It is transmitted both informally and through formal education. Recently, the communities concerned have also developed mobile device applications for learning and/or playing the game, which provide a new way of transmitting related skills and increasing the visibility of the practice among younger generations.

School children playing Togyzqumalaq during open air masterclasses in the center of Almaty (Kazakhstan)
Children playing Togyzqumalaq in national clothes (Kazakhstan)
Informal transmission, grandfather teaching his grandson to play Toguz Korgool (Kyrgyzstan)
Photo from Mangala Tournament of Visual Handicapped People (Turkey)
Mangala Courses in Bağcılar Municipality Bilgi Evi (Turkey)
Players from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan playing Toguz Korgool during the World Nomad Games (Kyrgyzstan)
Participants from Kyrgyzstan at the opening ceremony of the 1st World Nomad Games (Kyrgyzstan)
Children playing Mangala/Göçürme (Turkey)
Master Erkebulan Halelov makes wooden board togyzqumalaq (Kazakhstan)
International Togyzqumalaq tournament (Kazakhstan)
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