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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.5070
Origin: Southwestern Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 20.25" (51.4cm) 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.

A complex pattern covers the blade, composed mainly of striated semi-circles and ellipses, either joined or partially connected to form palm leaves. Smaller 'leaves' behind larger ones offer perspective, as if we are looking through a thick jungle. More texture is added by strings of small circles ending in concentric circles, floating in open spaces. At the top of the blade are two birds lying on their backs, with a large lizard stretched out in between. Each of the creatures is cleverly camouflaged with striations to blend in with the foliage-- an effect that is both beautiful and intriguing.
- (PF.5070)


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