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Hawk Bells Tell Two
by Pam Wheat
La Salle Shipwreck Project, Texas Historical Commission
BELLS. Brass bells were part of the cargo in
When the archeologists saw the bells, they recognized them
as "hawk bells."
IN EUROPE. These bells were used for
falconry. Two bells of different pitches were tied to a
hawk's foot so the owner could located the hawk or falcon as
it flew after hunted game (rabbit, mice, etc.).
IN NORTH AMERICA. The bells were used as
trade items by European explorers and traders who came to
the New World. The American Indians used the bells as
decoration. The American Indians had few (if any) items made
of metal before the European traders.
It is reported that two bells of different pitches
were paired and attached to the falcon so they could be heard farther
away than one bell alone.
Develop an experiment to prove or disprove this
Use (1) a jingle bell and (2) two jingle bells of
Have a partner walk 5 meters away and ring (1) the
single bell and (2) the two bells. On a chart, rate the intensity of
Rate the sounds (1) and (2) at different distances.
10 meters, 15 meters, etc.
What is your conclusion?
* Two bells of different pitches can be heard further
* It doesn't make any difference if you have one bell
or two bells.
For further information on
falconry read My Side of the
Mountain or contact the Society for
Material above is Copyright ©1997 Texas Historical
Commission. You are free to use information
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Copyright © 2000 Greg English
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