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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Miscellaneous : African Art / Yoruba / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
African Art / Yoruba / Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5059
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 18.75" (47.6cm) high
Collection: African
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 blade of his sword on the earth three times when he greets Ogun, god of iron. Swords are not only emblems 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 figures are seen in the center of the jagged blade done in a series of small dots. The top figure is anthropomorphic in character, while the other two are more animal-like in appearance. They are primitive and power, reminding us of cave paintings of primordial ancestors. On the reverse are similar figures even more abstract, but no less effective. Running along the inside of the blade is a series of striated semi-circles which curve with the bend of the blade.
- (PF.5059)


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