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Collection Tier:
Tier 3

Toys and Games ➔ Oware

Oware, a "count-and-capture" game similar to mancala, originated in Ghana, Africa. This artifact consists of a wooden board atop a carved elephant and has six pits or "houses" on either side as well as a score pit on each end. It is accompanied by a bag of 48 seeds, likely nickernuts, and a white rules booklet. 

Oware traditionally began with a man and woman playing. To bring the game to an end, they married, giving the game its name. Oware or Ware means "he marries" in Twi, a language spoken in Ghana. 
6.75" h 24" w 7" d
Current Location Status:
Education Program
Purchased With Funds From The Michigan Humanities Council

Investigate: Toys & Games (June 2018)
During the Investigate program, students will take the role of Museum curators and use close observation and critical thinking to discover the origin, meaning, and importance of real objects from the Museum’s Collection. Students will learn how to handle and study primary sources and will be pushed to consider how singular objects or groups of objects can tell meaningful stories about our place.

  • Students will be able to analyze primary sources (artifacts and photographs) and make inferences about the story or significance of the sources.
  • Students will make inferences about the value or learning lesson of various toys and games that have existed across time and cultures.
Curriculum Connections:
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • MIchigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, G4 Human Systems, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

Eastern Art Arcade, Incorporated

Bayard Gallery of Fine African-American Art
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