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Ako Okwe (Ezu Ahia Ako Okwe, Okwe, Akwa Nsa, Buying Market)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Western Africa

Category Board, Sow, Two rows


Ako Okwe is a mancala-type board game documented in Nigeria during the twentieth century. The game is sometimes compared to marketing, and captures said to be placed in the nkuru (bank). The full name, in Umuahia, is Ezu Ahia Ako Okwe, which translates to "buying market."


Played on a board with two rows of five holes with store holes on either side. To start, ten counters are placed in each hole except the stores. Play begins from any of a player's holes, and sowing proceeds in either direction, at the player's choice. The first seed is sown in the hole from which play started. When the last counter of a sowing falls into a hole, making the contents of that hole odd (but not more than nine), the counters are captured. The first capture must be of three counters, the second of one counter.

Murray 1951: 192.

These rules were taken from the Umuahia ruleset.

All Rulesets

Observed rulesets
Umuahia Observed in Umuahia, Nigeria in the early 20th century.
Murray Unplayable ruleset reported by H.J.R. Murray.


West Africa

Ludeme Description

Ako Okwe.lud


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Evidence Map

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Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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