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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - FJ.0036
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19.5" (49.5cm) 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 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.

The width of this blade allows for more decoration, which is quite intricate and skillfully rendered. Six narrow panels constitute the central portion, combining elements of striated triangles, ellipses with horizontal striation and detailed fine punched dots. A large square at the base is formed of wide criss-crossing striated bands to which is attached triangles, with a rosette in the center of each. The upper portion contains a row of semi-circles, bands of diagonal striations, concentric circles and a series of triangles, each with a circle on the peak. Viewing the entire blade is like peering into a dense jungle; where, upon close inspection, we see a profusion of lovely plants and flowers.
- (FJ.0036)


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