The face, the tiger’s head, is however very consistent.
That is why I have called these bells ‘tiger bells’.
Very often these characters have been corrupted by the casting process or are just meaningless scribbles.
The function of these classic tiger bells differs per group. The link with certain ethnic groups could indicate that the tiger bells are old.
They are used as an amulet by shamans from Kalimantan and Siberia. On the other hand, some of these bells are evidently newer than others.
This could link those groups with the tiger bell and those without the tiger bell to the various migration waves in East Asia through time.
It could also mean that tiger bells found with these groups are very old. In between we find tiger bells of varying age, the majority possibly younger than those in northern Asia and S. Asia, and with many variations in shape, size and design, although all are clearly tiger bells.