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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword
Yoruba Brass Udamalore Ceremonial Sword - PF.5048
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 19 th Century AD to 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 21" (53.3cm) 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 renown. At Ilesha, (central Yorubaland), the chief strikes the blade of his sword on the earth three times in greeting 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.

A vertical row of concentric circles of different thicknesses, begins at the center of the blade and curves upwards towards the edge. The tight band of circles border a wavy line which separates the smooth from the textured portion. If the blade is held horizontally this wavy effect seems like rolling hills with the circles as clouds or planets. The hilt is highly ornamented by comparison with the blade, and might be viewed as the dense undergrowth of the forest. However one may interpret the symbols, the structure and patterns on this blade are quite elegant.
- (PF.5048)


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