The making of bells is connected with the development of cattle breeding in the Bulgarians from the mountainous areas. The craft includes the make of forged bells /hlopki / and casted ones from bronze as well as the make of church bells.
In Gabrovo region forged bells -/hlopki/ are only made out of sheet iron and the craft goes by the name of "hlopkarstvo" here. The development of the craft has started after the Balkan War in our region as the village of Nova Mahala / now it is one of Gabrovo's quarters, called Aprilovo/ has been the centre of it.
The first bells that have been made here are called "traki"(clatters). They are flattened, moulded only with cold hammering and don't have a nice voice. Another type are the so-called "rogati"- horned ones-made without battering the points of the bells.
The largest quantity of the cow-bells made here falls on the "rounded ones" as their voice sings. The making of the" right voice" is the last and thinnest stage in the production process. The voice depends on the mouth of the bell, on the thickness of the sheet iron and on the soldering.
In Gabrovo region the craft wasn't regulated officially in the past as all of the crafts were - the artisans didn't take an examination and a master's certificate wasn't issued to them.
The cow-bell makers together with the cutlers celebrate their patron's day on the 18th of January St. Athanasii's Day.