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Image of Opon Ayo (Sowing Game)

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unknown Yoruba
Yoruba Primary

Opon Ayo (Sowing Game)

19th century - 20th century
Carved and incised wood

22 1/16 in. x 5 7/8 in. (56 cm x 15 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2003.27.13
Other Number(s): King Collection TN-1 (Temporary Number)
Geography: Africa, Nigeria
Classification: Toys and Games; Games
Culture/Nationality: Yoruba, Nigerian, West African, African
Collection: King Collection
Description: Sowing (count and capture) games have been popular throughout the world for centuries. This particular sowing game from Nigeria is known as Ayo Olopon, more commonly called Ayo. Each player has six cups on their side of the game board; twenty-four pebbles or seeds are divided evenly among the cups. The object of the game is to collect more pieces than your opponent.

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • gameboards - Flat boards or boardlike game accessories marked such that the progress of play can be tracked.
  • games - Forms of competitive play, usually involving an element of strategy, especially to interfere with an opponent's play; may or may not require physical skill.
  • Nigerian
  • West African - Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.
  • Yoruba

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 2003.27.13_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 2003.27.13_BMC_f.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • Backtalk: Exposures, Erasures, and Elisions of the Bryn Mawr College African Art Collection Bryn Mawr College , Feb 5, 2015 – Jun 1, 2015

  • Owner Name: Bruce and Adele King, in memory of Nicole M. King, Class of 1986
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Acquisition Method: Purchased in Ibadan, Nigeria from house to house traders
    Ownership Start Date: 1962-1964
    Ownership End Date: June 6, 2003

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0105444.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Stefan Eisenhofer, ed. Kulte, Künstler, Könige in Afrika: Tradition und Moderne in Südnigeria (Linz, Austria: des Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseums, 1977), 282-289.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Opon Ayo (Sowing Game) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=4/2/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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