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Valdis Muktupāvels

[govju zvans, pulkstens]

Cast and forged metal bells of Latvia. Small cast bronze bells are known from the 7th century, found by archaeologists attached to shawls, belts, and other parts of female costume, usually grouped in threes. The diameter of the opening is 15 to 30 mm, and the clapper in a form of a lamella is attached inside. Cast church bells are known in Latvia from the 12th century. The bell was hung in a church tower or a separate bell tower and rung for ecclesiastic rites, for special events such as weddings and funerals, and also to sound alarms. The church bells were thought to offer protection from evil influences.

Forged bells, govju zvans, were made of thin folded brass plates, with riveted edges. A wire with an iron weight—screw-nuts or similar—was fastened inside. Such bells were hung around the necks of farm animals while grazing, especially at night.

Ī. Priedīte...



Darja Koter

[haloška žvegla]

Transverse flute of Slovenia. It is made of plum heartwood, unpolished, in nine sizes from about 20 to 52 cm long, with the two longest flutes made in two parts. Žvegle are pitched at g”, f”, d♭”, c♯”, b’, a’, g’, f’ and e♭’ respectively and each encompasses two octaves. The cylindrical tube widens at each end; the upper end is closed. The highest of the six equidistant fingerholes lies at the centre of the tube’s length. Žvegle are played alone or in pairs or trios of the same size, and with the trstenke (panpipe) or frajtonerca (accordion). From the 18th century to the second half of the 20th, žvegle were made principally by the Merc family from Haloze, in Slovenian Styria. The folk tradition of the Merc family continues in the same area. (D. Hasl: ‘Haloška žvegla’, Tradiciones acta institute ethnographiae Slovenorum...



Ivan Mačak

Bells of Slovakia. There are many forms: zvonce drevené (wooden bells), zvonce liate (cast metal bells), plechové zvonce or spiežovce (bells of folded sheet metal), and zvonce hlinené (ceramic bells). Herders hang differently tuned bells on their animals so that in rough terrain they can locate them and know which animals are in front, behind, or in the middle of the group. Herders also pay attention to the harmony of the bells and sometimes say that they are ‘making a symphony.’...