The Company

Cowbells Pardalinho(*) … the tradition of a people.

The Alentejo (**) has been for many centuries one of the most important shepherding areas of our country, Portugal.
In association with this activity become the cowbell.
A metallic artifact with a singular sound, with a main purpose, to help to locate the cattle scattered by on the pastures. It is credible that the cowbell making started, here in Alentejo, during the Middle Ages, being one of many activities of Jews and Arabs blacksmiths. Anyway, even being confirmed, the presence of many cowbell makers in Alcáçovas for at least 600 years, the official recognition of this profession was only made formal in the beginning of the XIX century.
In 1913 there were known 13 families of cowbells makers. This is about this date that we can confirm as the beginning of our company, COWBELLS PARDALINHO.

At the time the cowbell master, Luís Francisco Fernandes Pires, started to teach his job to Francisco Barroso, who took later an apprentice, his nephew José Luís Reis Maia. Today the Cowbells Pardalinho has two masters, son and nephew of José Maia.

(*) – Pardalinho=little sparrow. So: “Cowbells Pardalinho”.
(**) – Province/Region of Portugal, about 1/3 of the country.

We want to mention another master, Gregório Rita, a very important professional in this process of keeping this art. The cowbells, Portuguese style, have many different shapes and sizes to meet different uses, applications. However we have to mention two kinds, the “picadeiro” and the “reboleiro”

To be the owner of a “Pardalinho” cowbell, l is like to be the owner of a bit of History, Identity and Tradition..