You Are What You Play


Mind & Paper Game

Name of Game:



Mind and Paper

Country of Origin:

Ghana, but played across West Africa and in many other  areas of Africa. It is believed to have originally been an Ashanti game.

Where did you learn it?:

School and Home

How many players?:




Where is it played?:

At home with friends


The players alternate turns.


During a turn the player moves anti-clockwise around the board “sowing” a seed in each “pit”, and capturing seeds when the sown seed brings the total in that pit to 4. (NB other versions have other numbers for this).


It is a complex game to describe so please watch the video

How to play:

The game requires an oware board and 48 seeds. A typical oware board has two straight rows of six pits, called "houses", and optionally one large "score" house at either end. Each player controls the six houses on their side of the board, and the score house on their end. The game begins with four seeds in each of the twelve smaller houses.

Materials Needed:

The object of the game is to capture more seeds than one's opponent. Since the game has only 48 seeds, capturing 25 is sufficient to win the game

Aim of game:

How does it End?:

When one player has captured the majority of the seeds (or the majority of the pits). Local variations differ.

Variations from other places:

 Ayò, Ayoayo (Yoruba), Awalé (Ivory Coast), Wari (Mali), Ouri, Ouril or Uril (Cape Verde), Warri (Caribbean), Wali (Dagbani), Adji (Ewe), Nchọ/Ókwè (Igbo), ise (Edo) and Awélé (Ga). A common name in English is Awari

Average time needed to play:

A few minutes

Age Range:

7 +

Other information:

Oware is said to derive its name — which literally means "he/she marries" — from a legend in the Ashanti language of a man and a woman who played the game endlessly and, so as to be able to stay together and continue playing, they married


Who Introduced us to it?: