My Tangent – Smith Robertson Genealogy – Dada’s Mancala Game

28 June 2010

Afternoon,

At times, I do take a break from transcribing, in the hopes that my mind is not becoming permanently fixed in reading 1830’s script.

In the genealogy thing, and in search and research, sometimes one stumbles upon an amazing fact of a past ancestor. In this case it is about my maternal grandfather Frederick Henry Robertson. And this is a fact that is beyond the general scope of genealogical work and review of birth, marriage, death and possible military service.
(Image: Robertson’s Mancala game; WikimanQala.org.) 

Dada, as he was known to me, must have been some remarkable man. The accomplishments of my grandfather are well documented in papers and books. I am enthralled as I read through the lists of documents and articles credited to and authored by him.

One unique item was an invention. In 1936 in Jamaica, Dada invented his Mancala game. Patented in 1938 it was a variant on a game called Oware and was also known as Wari, Warri, Aualé, Awelé, Ouri, and etcetera.

Per Wikimanqala I was taken aback by the introduction statement that begins “Oware is played in Africa from Sénégal to Gabon…” Sénégal is where my paternal great-grandmother Catherine Marie Antoinette (née July) Abraham was born. Amazing. (You can follow my research of great-grandmother Marie Antoinette in a number of earlier Postings including Parts 30 and 31.

Check out the write-up at Wikimanqala – Robertson’s Mancala Game. Explore the European Patent Office website for the 1937 and 1938 publications referencing Dada’s improvements.

It is a wonder at times to get to know my ancestors more than just filling in names and dates into the blocks of a descendant chart. And I would like to find Dada’s Mancala.

Enjoy,

Jim

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