Ayo is played by two people, facing each other, over two rows of six
pockets, or holes in the ground. Each player places four seeds or
stones in each of their six pockets and the players then take
turns of picking up all of the pieces from one of the pockets and
dropping one of them into another pocket one by one.
Whilst Ayo is often played with a
board, and great care is taken to craft a board with its twelve carved out
circular pockets and often elaborate carvings on its sides.
The first player to
empty all of the other player’s pockets wins the game.
The Ayo game has become in recent
decades an important 'mind sport game'. Tournaments are held every year in
Western Africa, many European countries, and in Antigua and Barbuda in the