Oware Game

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A Ghanaian National Game

Oware is reputed to be the oldest game on earth.  It is at least 15,000 years old and can be traced back to the Sumerians of ancient Africa.  It is one of the oldest sedentary games of Ghana.  It is also played in other parts of Africa, but the name varies from country to country.  Oware is not confined to Africa but is played in many other countries such as India, Sudan,
Angola, and Timbuktu to name a few.

Oware was originally devised as an accounting system and helps in the development of
numeracy skills.

The game board is simply or intricately carved from wood and seeds, pebbles, marbles or ivory balls used as game pieces.  Children often scoop holes in the ground and play the game with a variety of seeds or pebbles.  The shape of the board in general use in Ghana is like that of the Ashanti stool.  Holes are carved out big enough for a normal hand in fist position to fit into them.

Compact Oware Game Board.
plus P&P.

The game calls for a great deal of concentration, the ability to calculate quickly, and  varying levels of skill, depending on the version of the game being played. 

Tradition has it that long ago a game of Oware between a man and a woman lasted so long, they decided to get married in order that they might be together for as long as they wished to have time to finish the game.  The incident is said to have given the game its Akan name which means "he marries".

Oware is becoming increasingly popular in many schools due to its emphasis on mental arithmetic.  Belleville School in Battersea were the 1999 National Oware champions.  Such was their landslide victory that the Oware National School's Cup was renamed the Belleville Oware Cup.  Many Oware associations are springing up around the country.


Carved Oware Table.  Folds to make a Centre Table.

plus P&P.


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