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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Archive : African Art / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
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African Art / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5117
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 21.5" (54.6cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
A male figure sits on the edge of an elaborately engraved blade. Stylized, highly inventive animals decorate the main portion, where a large bird with a snake-like neck peers at us through concentric eyes, its body composed of narrow bands of striations at different angles. An attractive lizard lies between the large bird and a much smaller wingless variety near the tip, which also bears some resemblance to a fish. These charming animals are surrounded by joined squares, triangles, and stippled semi-circles giving the impression of a flowering, dense jungle. The seated male surmounts this undergrowth of nature, perched far above as if resting in the sky. He offers the traditional sign of greeting of the Osugbo society with the left fist on top of the right. His dignified facial features--conical headdress, the trim beard, bulbous, contemplative eyes and slightly parted mouth, suggest a venerable elder or ancestor. Ceremonial swords are used for a variety of purposes, including protection against accident, warding off evil spirits, and as a symbol of power and position. As an object of art this sword is a visual metaphor of Yoruba life, representing the archetype male figure dominating over and yet a part of nature, dignified and respectful, but fearing neither the forces above nor below. - (PF.5117)

 

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