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Bell of Unity and Happiness

The Bell of Unity and Happiness is located at San Jose State University in San Jose California. This Bell has been on this location for hundreds of years. In late 1800’s when San Jose state university was being built, original orders were to remove and scrap the bell but San Jose residents voted to keep the bell at its location. Mr. Mark Williams, who is a well-known historian on Native American culture and an author of over 25 books, did a thorough research on the origins of Bell of Unity and Happiness and published it in his book Bell of Unity and Happiness. Williams’s research found out that the bell belonged to a Native Indian tribe located in present day San Jose. This bell was created with cast iron and had a special purpose. Tribe’s leader rung this bell two times a year on special ceremonies. One of those ceremonies was a mass wedding which was held in summer. All the people of tribe including children, women and men used to gather near the bell to sing songs, dance in groups and ate wedding food. The ring of bell officially tied the couples together for life. William’s research also found out that the bell was also rung on the warrior training completion ceremony of tribe’s male teens. These teens ranged from ages 13 to 16 year old were trained throughout the year by the tribal leader and were officially given a title of a warrior at the beginning of fall season. Today this bell sits as a land mark and a special piece of history in the heart of San Jose but unfortunately many people don’t know this true story about the Bell of Unity and Happiness.

Fahad Shafqat