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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Ceremonial Knife
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Yoruba Brass Ceremonial Knife - PF.5053
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 17.75" (45.1cm) high x 3.375" (8.6cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass

Location: United States
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The ceremonial sword and knife are important symbols of power and authority. High ranking individuals wear the udamalore, (a small, ornate ceremonial sword), during festivals to designate them as someone of prestige. At Ilesha, (central Yorubaland), the chief strikes the blade of his sword on the earth three times when he greets Ogun, god of iron. Swords and knifes are emblems not only of wealth, but also of the power latent within the metal itself to cause either destruction or to protect. 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 pattern on this knife can be divided into two sections. An oblong shape filled with tightly knit circles dominates the center of the upper portion. From it radiate diagonal bands like branches with concentric circles, striations and rows of very small circles. On the lower portion are three vertical bands, the center one with a textured horizontal ellipse. The complex array of patterns creates a lovely floral effect, as if we are looking through a intricate web of flowering plants and flowers.
- (PF.5053)


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