Clarksdale bells have been found in many historic Mississippian sites throughout the southern United States, such as Seven Springs (Alabama), Little Egypt and Poarch Farm (Georgia), Dunn's Creek (Florida), Clarksdale (Mississippi), Toqua (Tennessee); as well as at Nueva Cadiz in Venezuela.
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The two hemispheres were soldered rather than crimped together, leaving little or no surficial flange.
The Clarksdale bell (named after the Clarksdale Mound in Mississippi where the type bell was found) is made up of two undecorated copper or brass hemispheres crimped together and secured by a square flange around the midsection.
At the base of the bell are two holes connected by a narrow slit.
Horses were imported from the north at great expense and were the prerogative of only the wealthiest and most powerful individuals.
Some kingdoms with large, standing militaries used horses for cavalry units that were devastatingly effective in warfare.
Spanish historical records dated to the 16th century describe the use of hawking bells (in Spanish: "cascabeles grandes de bronce" or large brass hawking bells) as trade items, along with iron knives and scissors, mirrors, and glass beads as well as clothing, maize and cassava.
Although bells are not specifically mentioned in the de Soto chronicles, they were distributed as trade goods by several different Spanish explorers, including Pánfilo de Naváez, who gave bells to Dulchanchellin, a Mississippian chief in Florida, in 1528; and Pedro Menéndez de Aviles, who in 1566 presented Calusa headmen with bells among other objects.
The original use of hawk bells was, of course, in falconry.
Hawking, the use of trained raptors to capture wild game, is an elite sport that was established throughout Europe no later than AD 500.
Often worn on the body as part of a costume, they were sometimes carried by attendants who rang them to bring attention to the important personages they served. Two leaflike ears rise vertically from a striated forehead.