We know that cupping was used by Maimonides and by Eastern European Jews. Did our ancestors use there shofarot for cupping? Let me know if you have any insight.
|In this collection of cupping implements belonging to Bruce Bentley, #2 is identified as a yak horn acquired in Tibet during the 1980s. From http://www.healthtraditions.com.au/essays/the-subtle-cup.htm, accessed 2012-04-07.|
Way back in time, long before any historical or archeological evidence had been uncovered to support the application of cupping instruments to the body as a therapeutic procedure, prehistoric humans relied in part on their ability to suck and draw to the surface any irritations such as stings and thorns. Early humans also developed conceptualisations concerning their place in nature and the universe and the causes of ill health.
In their efforts to explain sickness, they held beliefs about that which could enter the body or mind such as evil spirits and cause pain and suffering. Many researchers including anthropologists have described how healers of these supernaturalistic traditions of illness causation applied oral suction to the surface of the body to withdraw the effects of these malevolent influences.
In time, various natural resources began to be used to effect suction - which makes good sense because indigenous groups could exploit their natural resources. For example, natives along the west coast of North America, in the vicinity of Vancouver Island, used shells. In Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, hollow animal horns were fashioned to provide an effective cupping device. In North America, the natives made their cupping implements by slicing off the point of a buffalo horn. They would then place the base of the horn on the body and suck the air out through the opening at the tip. When a vacuum was achieved, a wad of dried grass would be immediately thrust into the opening by the nimble workings of the tongue. By this method the medicine men, with their powerful facial muscles and considerable agility, can make a very successful job of cupping. (Brockbank, 1987:22). Another technique used to withdraw disease was by sucking through a bone tube. During the Babylon - Assyrian Empire (stretching from Iraq to the Mediterranean) massage was practiced as well as 'cupping by sucking, with the mouth or by using a buffalo horn' (Mettler, 1947:320). The source of this information was presumably found inscribed on clay tablets, written in one of the earliest written languages, i.e. cuneiform script around 700BC.