Oh-Wah-Ree - The World's Newest Oldest Game
Oh-Wah-Ree is an example of a class of games known as "pit and pebble" games. They are known more formally as Mancala games after another specific example. The game in general consists of several "pits" into which "pebbles" have been placed.
There are several variations in play but most of them have the same basic features. A turn, or "lap" starts when a player scoops up all of the pebbles in one pit and "sows" them, one at a time, into pits moving counterclockwise around the board. If the last pebble sowed brings the number of pebbles in that pit to either two or three then the player "captures" all of the pebbles in the pit and removes them from the board. Play continues until no moves are possible at which time the player with the most captured pebbles is the winner.
Variations of games of this type have been in existence for around 3500 years. This version of the game comes with five or six variations, representing versions of the game played from Arabia to the orient. It also has a modern version of the game which allows for three or four players.
This is an interesting game. While I feel that some type of optimal strategy should be able to be worked out the fact that the game has been around for over three millennium strongly implies that there isn't one. The board is plastic and therefore not as nice as some of the other Mancala sets I have seen but it makes a nice addition to the bookshelf game lineup.
11 comments on Oh-Wah-Ree:
LOOKING FOR HOW TO PLAY GAMES GAME WAS PUT BECUASE NO RULES
Roger, you can find the rules for Oh-Wah-Ree (in PDF format) at http://www.1stingames.com/rules/ohwahree/index.pdf
Thanks for the (very old) memories. The photos really brought it back in mind!
This board makes a nice resounding rattle as one plays. It's not quiet. It is, however, the best board setup I've seen for any mancala variation.
The 4-player and 3 player variants are also quite nice additions.
If one wants to "solid up" the board, carefully pull the plastic inserts, use them as molds for plaster of paris, and then use the plaster instead.
Alternatively, one can fill the underside with plasticine and put it back in.
I do not play the game. I have the complete set less the instructions. I copied the 1962 original instructions from the web site (http://www.1stingames.com/rules/ohwahree/index.pdf). Page 2, diagrams are not clear. Can I get a clear copy in another web site? The game sounds very interesting.
I would like the rules to the game and the variations.
I would like the rules to the game-had the game since 1964. The 1stingames website is closed.
I bought Oh-Wah-Ree new when I was young. Sometime in the last fifty years I lost the rules. Where can I get a copy? Thank you.
i was looking for how to play oh wah ree and this showed up.And this is a good thing about its history. bye.
Now i'm having a fit. Is there any one in the whole world with the rules to the game?
Rose, here we go........ http://spelarch.khbo.be/PDFspelregels/989.pdf