Needle and Thread Crafts
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The Game of Achi
What you will make:
In this project, make a felt or paper game board for Achi, a game from
Ghana. Children play similar games all around the world. Some of the oldest
games, dating back over 3,500 years, are in a group called games of
alignment. Tic-tac-toe is one of the most popular of these games in the
United States, but in Ghana the children play Achi.
At the end of this project page, learn more about the history and
rules of Achi, and find links to other
sites with more fun and information related to Achi and
Here's what you need:
- Two 9" by 12" pieces of felt in contrasting colors or
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Black permanent fabric marker
- Embroidery floss in colors of felt
- Sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Ruler and pencil or chalk
- Optional supplies: Fabric
glue instead of needle and thread, or a regular black marker and
glue stick for a paper board.
This project is rated EASY to do.
When were Achi and Tic-Tac-Toe invented?
Children play similar games all around the world. Some of the
oldest games, dating back over 3,500 years, belong to a type of game called games of
alignment. Tic-tac-toe is one of the most popular of these games in
the United States, but in Ghana the children play Achi. They
usually mark the game board on the ground and use little sticks as
playing pieces. One player will have four little sticks with the bark
on, and the other player will have four sticks with the bark off.
A game board like those used for Achi was found carved into a roofing slab of the
temple at Al-Qurna in Egypt. It dates from 3,500 years ago. In addition, Confucius
describes the game of yih that was played in China as far
back as 500 B.C.; yih is now called tic-tac-toe. There are
many other historical references to alignment games from around the
world. Two boards dating from 2,000 years ago were found in Sri Lanka. Other
references come from Rome, Crete, Ireland, and Norway.