When it comes to the extremely rich and complex cultural heritage of our country, one of the last products that come to our mind is handmade metal bells. The production of the bell, which has different meanings, functions and uses such as music, announcing time, communication-communication-warning, religious-liturgical, decorative and animal husbandry, has led to the birth and development of a traditional craft and artisan group called “bellman” and “çancı”. Bell making is an ancient craft based on the production of bells through traditional techniques, methods, materials and hand tools. Farming, which we can see as a branch of blacksmithing, is a very troublesome and hard work. Bell making has largely disappeared today due to commercial and technological developments.
The bell making, which we identified and documented in the field research we conducted in Cemerler neighborhood, which is a remote rural settlement located in Toroslar, is a craft that draws attention with its primitive structure. Cemerler is the only production center where bell making is kept alive in Antalya. It is not possible to make a full and apparent explanation and determination about the emergence of bell making in Cemerler. Written sources remain silent on the subject, while oral sources cannot provide satisfactory information. While the production of bells in Cemerler can be considered commercially insignificant, it is extremely valuable culturally. In addition to this, the bell farming is an alternative source of employment and income for the Cemerler District, and has also met an important need in the region. However, the dramatic results of Industrial Revolution and Globalization on traditional crafts are evident even in a small settlement like Cemerler.
The origin and the main subject of our article is bell making, which is being produced in a very limited environment in Cemerler. Bell making in Cemerler has not been the subject of any scientific publication until today. In this sense, our work will be a first. Apart from this, the bell, which is a cultural object, was also examined with its traditional dimension.
Keywords: Akseki, folklore, handicrafts, bell making, intangible cultural heritage