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date: 16 November 2019


  • Alan R. Thrasher
  • , revised by June L.F. Lam


A set of small bells of the aboriginal cultures of Taiwan, notably the high mountain dwellers such as the Atayal, Saislat, Bunun, Thao, Tsou, Paiwan, and Rukai peoples, and especially the plains cultures such as the Ami and Puyuma. Pailing is the Chinese term for ‘row bells’; local names include sowasan (bronze dog’s teeth bells), luvav (bronze conic bells), atibalan (nut-like bronze bells), tagelin or tavelevele (long iron clapper bell), and tsoh-tsoh. The construction of these bells varies widely. Formerly made from deer hooves, bells nowadays are usually made of bronze, brass, or iron. They are invariably found in sets, tied together by hemp string. There are many varieties, including a set of small rounded pellet bells of brass each with a slit at the bottom, with or without internal pellets and decorated with motifs such as human faces, cobweb patterns, or concentric circles; a set of large conical bells made of iron, bent into a tube, open on one side, with internal clappers; a set of concussion jingles, with two split ‘dog-tooth’-shaped prongs extending downward; and a set of concussion jingles made from army rifle shells found in the field or bought specially for the purpose....

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