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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Miscellaneous : African Art / Yoruba / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Knife
African Art / Yoruba / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Knife - PF.5088
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19.5" (49.5cm) high x 3.375" (8.6cm) wide
Collection: African
Style: Yoruba
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 be used for 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.

Three squares and a rectangle comprise the middle portion of this knife, while a vertical shaft dominates the top. The bottom square is composed of three birds, two standing and two prostrate, each in inverted order of the one opposite. Above this square is another with a clever flowing design created by striated semi-circles of different sizes. The top section is made of triangles with concentric circles in the center of each, divided into three vertical bands. A lovely floral effect is created like a profusion of flowers and plants seen through the window of art.
- (PF.5088)


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