A Brief History of Oware from Wikipedia

Oware-based game variant Players on this board would sit to the left and right.
An elephant-shaped Awalé

Oware, a member of the mancala family of board games (pit and pebble games), is a variant of the same abstract strategy game played in slightly different forms all over the world by different numbers of players using slightly different strategies. Though its roots are murky, most people assume that they have an Ashanti background [1, 2]. [3]

Played in the Bono Region, Bono East Region, Ahafo Region, Central Region, Western Region, Eastern Region, Ashanti Region of Ghana[4] and throughout the Caribbean, oware and its variants have many names - ayò, ayoayo (Yoruba), awalé (Ivory Coast, Benin), wari (Mali), ouri, ouril or uril (Cape Verde), warri (Caribbean) Pallanguzhi (India) wali (Dagbani), adji (Ewe) (English "spoons" translates to the Igbo words nch/ókwè, ise/awale, and Ga, respectively. Although the English word "awari" is commonly used, the term "wari" was actually first used by Robert Sutherland Rattray, one of the earliest Western scholars to study the game.

Rules [ edit ]

Here are the guidelines for playing the abapa variant, which is recommended for mature audiences.

Equipment [ edit ]

f e d c b a Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty Empty A B C D E F

Playing necessitates an oware board and 48 seeds. Two parallel rows of six pits (houses) and, optionally, one large "score" house at each end make up a standard oware board. Each player is in charge of their own side of the board, which includes six houses and the score house. Each of the twelve smaller houses begins with four seeds.

The boards can be elaborately carved or plain and practical; they can have a pedestal or be hinged to fold in half lengthwise or crosswise and latch, making them portable and convenient for storing the seeds inside. Scoring houses are typically found at either end, but they are not required to be there. Also, the rows do not have to be perfectly straight. Houses for scoring can be carved into the hinged cover of a diptych-style board, making them visible to the players at all times. The earth itself can serve as a board; to do so, players dig a pair of parallel rows of holes.

Throughout the Caribbean, nickernuts are the go-to seed of choice due to their glossy texture. Pebbles and beads are also commonly used. Oval-shaped marbles are sometimes used in Western budget-friendly sets. Cowrie shells are used in some tourist sets.

Objective [ edit ]

It all begins with four seeds in each of the two houses. To win, players must amass a larger seed collection than their opponents. There are only 48 seeds in the game, so capturing 25 is enough to win. Due to the even number of seeds, a tie can occur if both players end up with 24 seeds.

Sowing [ edit ]

To reframe the example:

2 2 1 2 3 1 3 1 4 Empty 6 (highlighted) 2 A B C D E F

To plant, the lower hand starts with E.

f e d c b a 2 3 (highlighted) 2 (highlighted) 3 (highlighted) 4 2 3 1 4 Empty Empty 3

Only e, d, and c survive after being planted.

It's a game where players take turns moving seeds. To play, each player takes turns selecting one of their six owned houses. The player "sows" by taking all of the seeds in that house and scattering them in a counter-clockwise direction. Houses at the end of the score or the house from which a player is drawn do not receive seeds. If there are more than 11 seeds in the first house, the extra seeds are skipped and the 12th seed is placed in the next house. The diagram represents the outcome of planting in dwelling E.

Obviously, it's crucial to the game's mechanics that you know how many seeds are in each home. When there are a lot of seeds in a house—enough to make a lap of the board or more—the player in control of that house will likely try to keep track of how many seeds are there. You can do this by relocating the seeds around the house several times. Whenever a player is on the fence about what action to take, they may count the seeds; when doing so, they should count the very last few without letting anyone else know how many they have.

Capturing [ edit ]

With his final seed of the turn, a player can capture in Oware Abapa only if his opponent's house count is exactly 2 or 3. This always captures the seeds in the corresponding house, and possibly more if the previous-to-last seed also reduced an opponent's house to two or three. repeated until a home is found that doesn't have two or three seeds or doesn't belong to the opponent The player who captured the seeds places them in his or her scoring house (or an empty space on the board). However, if a player's move would result in the capture of all of an opponent's seeds, the game is over and the seeds are left where they are. (However, for details on Grand Slam variants, read on.) All the seeds in houses e, d, and c would be taken by the lower player, but house b (with four seeds) and house a (not adjacent to the other captured houses) would be left untouched.

Yes, let them play [ edit ]

The rule against stealing all of an opponent's seeds is connected to the larger principle that one should choose a move that lets the opponent keep playing. If an opponent has no full houses, the active player must play a move that gives that player seeds. If there is no legal move, the current player wins the game by absorbing all of the seeds in their own territory.

Winning [ edit ]

If one player collects 25 or more seeds, they win. If both players collect 24 seeds, they draw. After both players have placed seeds in their respective holes, the game ends when both players have captured all of the seeds on their respective sides of the board.

Variations [ edit ]

Modifications of the "grand slam" format [ edit ]

If you manage to snag all of your opponent's seeds in a single move, you've just completed a grand slam. The applicable rule can be any of the following alternatives[6]:

  1. A grand slam takedown is an illegal maneuver.
  2. While such a move is within the rules, it will not lead to a capture. This is a common regulation for international competitions.
  3. Any remaining stones on the board are given to the opponent after a grand slam capture is legal.
  4. You can technically do that, but you won' lose the last (or first) house.

Many other regulations can be found.

In 2002, Henri Bal and John Romein at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam proved a strong solution to a variant that allows a Grand Slam to win the game; however, either side can still force a draw. [7]

In 1964, 3M released a commercial adaptation of the game under the name Oh-Wah-Ree for children.

Societal history [ edit ]

Awele or Awari game weight for measuring gold dust

Among the mancala games, Oware is by far the most popular.

The name "oware," which means "he/she marries" in the Akan language and Twi (the language spoken by the Akan people), is said to come from a legend about a man and a woman who played the game incessantly and eventually got married because of it. They got married so they could stay together and keep making music. [8][9]

Perhaps the most social two-player abstract game, oware reflects traditional African values by encouraging spectator participation. Spectators often discuss the game and offer tips to the players during recreational play. It's possible that games can serve as a focal point around which people can socialize and have fun. The game, or variants of it, also played a significant role in the education of African children in mathematics. It's important to cite when using this term.

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "Oware" BoardGameGeek Retrieved Thursday, December 20 2017
  2. ^ It's been said that "Oware" has been "played all over the world." www oware org Retrieved Thursday, December 20 2017
  3. ^ African Games of Strategy: A Guide for Educators. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, African Studies This date in 1982, the 20th, is significant. Retrieved the twentieth of December 2017 by means of Google Books
  4. ^ In her 1999 book, Lucile Davis Ghana Capstone ISBN 978-0-7368-0069-3
  5. ^ Sala Soler, Joan Aualé's Oware Rules www joansala com Retrieved Sunday, December 20 2017
  6. ^ David B. Chamberlin (As of November 2017) The Second Edition of the Official Rules of Warri, a Caribbean Oware Mancala Game ) City of Columbia, State of Missouri: Purple Squirrel Productions p  7 ISBN 978-0-9994889-0-4
  7. ^ John W. Romein Henri E. Bal; (June 2002) The Mystery of Awari Has Been Resolved. Journal of the International Council of Garden Architecture 25 (2): 162–165 doi:[[10]]3233/ICG-2002-25306 Retrieved 19 April 2015
  8. ^ There are games all over the world, and "Oware - History, Rules and Play" details them all. (PDF) The original archived version (PDF) Specifically, on February 24th, 2021 Retrieved December 20th 2017
  9. ^ In her 1999 book, Lucile Davis Ghana Capstone ISBN 978-0-7368-0069-3

Referring to Resources Outside This Article [ edit ]

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