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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.5071
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 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.

Divided into three major sections, the upper portion of the blade depicts three animals. A large creature resembling a leopard predominates, with his feline body covered in rosettes to imitate spots, a curling tail and a remarkable round head with one rosette in the center. He is surrounded by a lizard and snake; the former filled with a fine checkerboard pattern and the latter with diagonal lines. Within the center panel are two nearly identical birds facing each other in inverted order. Two narrow horizontal bands top and bottom divide the middle section. At the base is a design comprising crossed striated bands connected by short bands at right angles, forming an inner square and triangles containing rosettes. The surface of this blade offers a rich menagerie of animals and designs of exceptional nature and quality.
- (PF.5071)


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