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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Nigeria: How to Play Ayo


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City of Surrey, BC



Offered in English.


Ayo (pronounce aah-yoh) is a traditional game played by the Yoruba people who reside in South Western Nigeria. Known as the "Game of the Intellectual", this game requires a lot of mathematical skill. Ayo is played in with carved wooden box, containing twelve holes (with six holes on each side), and 48 Ayo seeds (four seeds in each hole).


This two player game runs counter-clockwise. Players can only pick up seeds from their side of the board, unless they are “capturing” seeds from the opponent’s side of the board. The objective is to “capture” all your opponent’s seeds.

Step 1-

The first player begins by picking up all of the seeds from one of their holes, and running them counter-clockwise.

Step 2-

The opponent does the same, starting from their side.

Step 3-

If the seed movement ends in a hole with four Ayo seeds on the opponent’s side, the player “captures” those seeds.

Step 4-

When this happens, they win one “house” and remove the seeds from the game.

Step 5-

The opponent must always choose their move to bring one or more seeds into the other’s row.

Step 6-

Players take turns until the seeds are exhausted.

Step 7-

If a player records three straight wins, they become a champion (ota). The loser (ope) quits, and a new player then takes over.

Step 8-

Have fun playing Ayo!

Be sure to post your game on social media using the hashtag #SurreyFusion and tag @surreybcevents.



City of Surrey

The City of Surrey's Special Events team organizes four major special events annually: Party for the Planet, Surrey Canada Day, Surrey Fusion Festival and the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. Surrey Fusion Festival brings together over 80,000 people annually to celebrate food, music, and culture.


This event is part of a hub:

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