Wood, cotton, leather, rawhide, glass beads, thread, bells
51.5 cm (20.2 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Hammer. X91.1636
Chief’s udamalor (ceremonial sword), ewu (beades sheath), and beaded panels worn among the Owo-Yoruba. The udamalore and other beaded attachments are the prerogative of Owo rulers and their highest ranking chiefs. Worn during the Igogo festival on the left hip above the distinctive skirt known as iibolukun, the sword announces its owner as a famous and respected person of high status, who has power and influence in the affairs of the community. The inscription and imagery of the sword sheath and attached panels suggest it was worn by someone from a hunter warrior family. Possibly this family had been named to the special, elevated category of hunters permitted to kill an elephant. Riders hold their horses’ reigns. The name on the panel with an interlace reads “incren Adeladun.” A second panel displays a hunter and bird, and the third, a man, perhaps a European, with a walking stick.
Source: Drewal, H., Mason, J. (1998). “Beads, Body, and Soul – Art and Light in the Yoruba Universe”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 239