Oh-Wah-Ree - The World's Newest Oldest Game


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.

12 comments on Oh-Wah-Ree:

roger@WIDAHO.NET at February 9, 2008 15:25 said:
Dennis, The Gamepiler at February 13, 2008 08:08 said:
Roger, you can find the rules for Oh-Wah-Ree (in PDF format) at http://www.1stingames.com/rules/ohwahree/index.pdf
Seth at October 16, 2008 01:43 said:
Thanks for the (very old) memories. The photos really brought it back in mind!

Aramis at December 5, 2008 10:22 said:
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.
8-04-09 Herb ..countryman326@aol.com at August 4, 2009 23:56 said:
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.
Donna at June 7, 2012 14:23 said:
I would like the rules to the game and the variations.
wilma at January 9, 2013 13:24 said:
I would like the rules to the game-had the game since 1964. The 1stingames website is closed.
Suzanne suzanneyager@rocketmail.com at January 27, 2013 17:04 said:
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.
robert at August 18, 2013 14:46 said:
i was looking for how to play oh wah ree and this showed up.And this is a good thing about its history. bye.
Rose at October 11, 2013 10:37 said:
Now i'm having a fit. Is there any one in the whole world with the rules to the game?
Tim at October 19, 2013 00:49 said:
Rose, here we go........ http://spelarch.khbo.be/PDFspelregels/989.pdf
Louis Vuitton Outlet at April 18, 2014 23:14 said:
It's not unusual http://www.coachoutletstoreinoa.com/ for a visiting head of state to lay a wreath at the Tomb http://www.coachfactoryoutletmsna.com/ of the Unknown Warrior in London's Westminster Abbey -- but when it happens on Tuesday, the gesture will be anything but routine. http://www.coachoutletonlinemu.com/ This is history in the making.The commemoration by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, http://www.coachoutletonlineben.com/ will take place during the first state visit by an Irish leader to the United Kingdom. http://www.coachfactoryoutletmona.com/ It follows on from Queen Elizabeth's trip to Dublin in May 2011, http://www.coachfactoryoutletsnai.com/ the first by a British monarch to the republic since it gained independence from London in 1921.The countries are close neighbors but have a long, http://www.coachfactoryoutletori.com/ contentious, often violent history which has left thousands dead, among them Lord Mountbatten, http://www.coachfactoryoutletnos.net/ a relative of the Queen who was killed by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb in 1979. http://www.coachfactoryoutletenm.net/ The very fact that the British and the Irish once fought with each other under the same flag is still very difficult http://www.coachouteltmon.net/ for many Irish Republicans to stomach.But the relationship between the http://www.coachfactoryoutletenm.com/ two countries has gradually normalized since the peace process of the 1990s. http://www.coachoutletboc.com/ That will be formally acknowledged when Higgins pays his respects at the tomb of an unknown British soldier who died during World War One when http://www.coachoutletstoreenm.com/ Ireland was under British rule.Diplomats from both countries are stressing the significance of the five-day trip. http://www.coachoutletstorecos.com/ Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to London, has said that Dublin is "now willing to look at the facts of history" http://www.coachoutletonlincaen.com/ rather than shying away from them.Meanwhile a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson has said that the visit is about acknowledging http://www.truereligionjeansftc.com/ the past but also "demonstrating that the relationship is moving on and looking to the future." http://www.truereligionjeansct.com/ The spokesperson stressed that both state visits are "pivotal moments in our shared history." http://www.truereligionjeanssi.com/ The Queen's trip nearly three years ago included a visit to Croke Park, http://www.michaelkorsoutletic.com/ a Dublin sports stadium where 14 people were killed by British forces in 1920 during the war of independence. http://www.michaelkorsets.com/ She also spoke in Gaelic during a dinner in Dublin to audible gasps in the room; http://www.michaelkorsoutletnio.com/ and visited Northern Ireland in June 2012, when she shook hands with former http://www.michaelkorsetoutletbeo.com/ IRA commander Martin McGuinness, now the province's deputy first minister.These were all highly symbolic moments that politicians couldn't create to http://www.chaneloutletmobai.com/ the same effect -- and Buckingham Palace is well aware of that. A palace spokesperson said http://www.louisvuittonoutletina.com/ last month that the Queen herself has become a symbol of the warming relationship http://www.louisvuittonoutletine.com/ between the two countries.

Leave a Comment:



Offensive, irrelevant, obsolete or just plain annoying comments may be removed at any time without notice.