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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
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Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5051
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19" (48.3cm) 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 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. The sword is an emblem 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.

Only the edge is decorated on the blade portion of this sword; while the handle is covered with designs. On the blade a series of semi-circles, filled with a cross-hatched pattern, are connected to two very narrow bands composed of extremely small circles. Viewed horizontally, the joined semi-circles appear like mountains, each with its own "sun" above a "valley". From these "suns", or concentric circles, rise three to ten embossed circles. This clever abstract design gives the effect of the earth and sky, plowed fields and rolling hills, with the great unknown cosmos beyond.
- (PF.5051)


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