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Akhuee Sport Game Of Edo Culture

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With Ambrose Ekhosuehi {Last update 25/092017}

Akhuee is a seed from the fruit of a climbing plant klainedoxia gradifolia - Akhueebo, and mucuna flagellipes - Akhueekpuru, which is used in a contest for competitive recreation or amusement as a game and sport involving bodily exercise.

Akhuee derives its name from the plant bearing it and the game is played on an adhoc pitch Uvien Akhuee made on the ground outside a house or a compound.

The players consist of two opposing teams. The pitch consists of akhueebo seeds or akhueekpuru which are stuck to the ground in parallel rows and three paralled columns on either side.

The rows are about 30-40cm apart with the distance of the same extent between the columns. In addition to these rows and columns on either side of the game, there are two other seeds similarly stuck to the ground calls the Ogie –Monarch, in the central position at the head of the system rows and columns on the same distance of 30 - 40 cm from the last row.

A central line is drawn on the ground separating the two teams. The strategy of the game is that each team tries to knock down as many seeds of the opponent. The first team to knock down all the seeds of the opposing side is declared a winner.

Akhuee game involves skill of spinning, aims to knock down the seeds, while sportly balance to stretch the arms and curl the seed between fingers with the art of spinning the akhuee, quilling to struck the aimed seeds.

To start the game a player on one side takes an Akhuee seed, spins it to opponent side, sighting a standing seed. If the seed is knocked down, it is removed from the pitch. Likewise too a player on the other side spins a seed to the opposing side aiming at a standing seed.

If that seed is knocked down, it is removed.
Sometimes a skilful player can knock down a seed which is in turn knocks down one - two or more other standing seeds. All such seeds knocked down are removed from the pitch.

Similarly the Spinning seed can knock down a standing seed and then passes on to knockdown another seed. The two seeds knocked down are also removed from the pitch.

No game can be won until the Monarch, Ogie seed and the abode are knocked down.

The Central line helps the players to decide whether a spinning seed can be replayed or not. If the seed is unable to reach the line before it stops, it can be retrieved and replayed, but if it passes the line before it stops, it cannot be replayed.

Historically, Akhuee has been an exciting game and has played important role and formed a part of Edo Culture from the earliest times.

The son of Prince Oronmiyan won the celebrated game of Ahkuee. In his early years, he could not speak and when his father Prince Oronmiyan heard of this, he sent seven charmed Akhuee seeds to him in an excitement competition.

In the excitement of winning the game played with the seven Akhuee seeds, he make his first utterance his first word; “0 we ka.” as the seed guorenren - Eweka, struck the seed - ka.
Raising his hands up saying “Owomika” I have succeeded.”

In obedience to Prince Oronmiyan’s Command the young prince was ultimately crowned Oba under the tittle of Eweka I.

Ever since, every Oba has to go to the place, before coronation to choose a title where Oba Eweka I won the game of Akhuee and uttered the word which became his title.

Nowadays, akhuee which had been household sporting game since ages is no longer popular. The plants are no longer cultivated, even if not for the game but for its medicinal uses. Its popularity may resurface from the modified mobile platform type pitch of Akhuee game propagated by the Edo State Ministry of Youths and Sports.

The Youths has to be trained in the art, design and contour of the Sport game from the letters ABC to STU of the Akhuee regulation. The Akhuee is stucked standing and not lying. The platform must not be galloping but smooth to allow a spinning performance for the akhuee to “guo”, quill.

The novice plays the ukologbo, while elite play the quill - guo, an art of proving skill. Few people among the urban adults clearly remember how to play the Akhuee sporting game.

The existence of traditional games and sports can form valuable source of entertainment, besides, they also promote mental alertments and would also form source of materials for the education and training of children as it was in the past traditional system, likewise they can be a source of display of high mathematical skills and maturity.

The Akhuee sport game can be in a permanent or in a mobile form, like the tennis court. There can be an akhuee court, where the akhuee should be played on a permanent spot or in a mobile form as in table tennis, an akhuee table can be built to specification to allow for the seeds to be stucked and played in a proper manner. This would allow professional akhuee players to compete with amateurs.

Akhuee sport - game which was originally played on compound grounds would now be played on hard out door courts of various materials as well as indoors on wooden courts for such would enhance the sport games of Edo Culture.

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