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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5078
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 21.25" (54.0cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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The ceremonial sword is an important symbol of power and authority. High ranking individuals wear the udamalore (a small, ornate ceremonial sword) during festivals to distinguish themselves as someone of importance. At Ilesha, (central Yorubaland), the chief strikes the blades of his sword on the earth three times when he greets Ogun, god of iron. Swords are not only symbols of wealth, but also of the power latent within the metal itself as an element of destruction or protection. Just as an individual possessing power, both earthly and spiritual, may use the weapon for aggressive or passive purposes depending upon his judgment and wisdom.

The intricate pattern of the upper portion of this blade has a wide band of punched dots, next to a band of nearly equal width containing squares each with concentric circles in the center. A series of connected triangles formed by three parallel lines rests upon the border of dots. A delicate string of tiny circles rises alternately from the base and tip of the triangles, with an effect like flowers and mountains in the distance. Three horizontal bands separates a large square composed of two inverted triangles each filled with punched dots. The combined effect is a highly abstract "scene" of nature seen through an artist's vision and the mind's eye.
- (PF.5078)


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