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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5050
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 20" (50.8cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: Brass

$600.00
Location: United States
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Description
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.

The pattern on the blade of this sword shows a profusion of geometric shapes with a decidedly floral motif. A series of semi-circles, like flowing hills, are filled with short diagonal lines. Embossed circles run in a series vertically up the blade, and horizontally towards the base. An overlapping network of various shapes, especially towards the middle, appears to western eyes as somewhat expressionistic. These symbols, however, have enjoyed a long tradition in Yoruba art, particularly on brass objects. This blade would have been attached to a wooden handle, and most likely carried in processions.
- (PF.5050)

 

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