Oware Wood Table Game, 'Elephant Vs Dog' (Ghana)

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ITEM# 21823456

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ITEM#: 21823456

An African elephant and a dog challenge each other in a friendly game of oware on a board designed with a practical handle. From Ernestina Oppong Asante, the oware board is carved by hand of seasoned sese wood and the game is played with 48 white marbles. Oware is a game of skill and strategy designed for two players, challenging mental agility and alertness. The objective can be briefly described as 'counting and capturing beads' and there are no chance factors in it. The player's strategy entirely depends upon the ability for reasoning and counting. In Arab countries, the most common name for this game is 'mancala' (Arabic word meaning 'to move'). In some West African countries the depressions in the board are referred to as 'warri' or 'wwari,' which means houses, thus the name 'owari.' In Nigeria it is known as 'adi,' which is also the name of the seeds used to play it; and in South Africa it is called 'ohoro.' With different and exotic names such as 'congklak,' 'dakon,' 'aggalacang' and 'nogarata,' it has also been played in Asia long before the Portuguese rounded the southern tip of Africa. Today, oware represents the diversity of Africa, as some version of it is played in nearly every country on the continent. Legend relates that Shyaam aMbul aNgoong, founder of the Kuba kingdom of Central Africa, taught the game to his people to encourage foresight and calculation.

Product Features:
  • Worldstock Country: Ghana
  • Material: Wood

Story Behind the Art:
I was born at in the eastern region of Ghana in 1968 and had my early education there. I trained in dressmaking but on completion of the course, I realized that the trade would not do well in my town. I decided to learn a popular trade like carving. I trained under one Kwame Duah and within three years I had perfected the skill and was developing woodcarvings on my own. Since 1995, I have been operating a workshop of my own with four people working under me. Fortunately, my husband David Assante also trained as a carver and so we combine our skills to design and carve the drums with perfection. From Nakese in the eastern region I acquire a type of hardwood known as tweneboa for carving the drums. For the pegs I use the odum tree. Other materials I use are animal skin, pieces of cloth, iron rods and strings. The wood is already carved into hollows before I buy it. I then carve in the Adinkra and other symbols and designs. The next stage is to have the apprentices smoothe the woodwork with sandpaper. The iron rings which are placed on the mouth of the drum are wrapped with pieces of cloth to prevent rusting. The animal skin is bought from the northern region of Ghana and its environs. It is soaked in water for about two hours to soften. The skin is firmly pulled through the iron rings to cover the mouth of the drum and this ensures that it comes out with a good sound. The drum is then left in the sun to dry after which it is tested for sound and tone quality.

What is Worldstock?

The handcrafted touch of artisan skill creates variations in color, size and design. If buying two of the same item, slight differences should be expected. Note: Color discrepancies may occur between this product and your computer screen.



Material Wood
Country of Origin Ghana
Product Features Handmade
Worldstock Worldstock
Dimensions 5.25 inches high x 16.25 inches wide x 2 inches deep
Model Number 226328
Country of Origin Ghana

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