What Is The History of Ear Candling?
The history of ear candling is surrounded by colorful and mythical tales that have subsisted through oral tradition; however, these are undocumented and unsubstantiated. These fables are written down by the ear candling manufacturers and self appointed ear candling experts who sell or disperse this misinformation to the general public.
Other than in the USA, most of the world thinks that ear candles originate with the Hopi Tribe in the USA.
Let’s review the facts:
The owner of Biosun, Udo Leshik, claims to have learned about ear candling from the Native American Hopi Tribe. Udo Leshik met with Martin Gashweseoma in 1992. However at that time Martin Gashweseoma was no longer a member of the Hopi Tribe.
"Gashweseoma had been the keeper of the Sacred Tablets until he was stripped by the Fire Clan for an attempted unauthorized speech at a press conference in 1990. He and Thomas Banyaka tried to warn the world about the expending strife they foresaw for the planet and gave a press conference in which he "brought the sacred tablets out." This did not sit well back home at the "Rez" [reservation] A political struggle ensued with Gashweseoma stripped of his custody of the Sacred Tablets in early 1991. . . ." [The Mysterious Valley --page 285 St. Martins Press, 1996]
Regrettably, Udo had met Martin during a time of strife and survival for him and this caused commotion for the Hopi tribe. However, this did not stop Udo from using the Hopi name, in violation of Treaty and Hopi Law, for his brand of ear candles and for marketing purposes.
There has never been any authorization or permission within the recognized and official Hopi Tribe elders, members and organization to use the Hopi name or supposed Hopi techniques given to Udo or anyone in association with ear candles.
As a matter of fact, the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office states their policy as follows:
The Hopi people desire to protect their rights to privacy and their intellectual property rights. Due to the continued misrepresentation and exploitation of the rights of the Hopi people, guidelines were established to protect the rights of present and future generations of Hopi people.
The Hopi Tribe requires that any entity whether private or commercial wishing to engage in research, publication, or recording activities on the Hopi Reservation first obtain a permit from the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, located in the Honahnie building in Kykotsmovi, AZ. (1)
As of this date, there has been no permit granted to Biosun to use the Hopi name, especially for commercial profiteering.
The Hopi Tribe, which is a very poor and devastated tribe, has asked Biosun to stop using their name illegally but they have been ignored by Biosun. Since the Hopi Tribe is indigent they have no recourse available to them except to respond to the claims that Biosun has made with the following statement:
The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office is not aware of Hopi people ever practicing “Ear Candling.” Biosun and Revital Ltd. are misrepresenting the name “Hopi” with their products. This therapy should not be called “Hopi Ear Candeling.” The history of Ear Candeling should not refer to as being used by the Hopi Tribe. Use of this false information with reference to Hopi should be stopped. (2)
Not only has Biosun stolen the Hopi name and used it for commercial purposes, but he has also misrepresented one of the United States of America’s most treasured assets – The Grand Canyon.
Biosun has placed a mural from the Desert View Watchtower next to Martin Gashwesoma in many of his marketing pieces to represent the use of ear candling in the Hopi Tribe. Biosun states that the picture is a “coloured wall mural in the Hopi tower Grand Canyon.”
This picture is not part of the Grand Canyon but instead was created in 1932 by architect Mary Coulter and constructed by the Fred Harvey Company.
According to the National Park Service of the United States of America:
The mural is one-quadrant of a 4 quadrant mural painted by Fred Kabotie in 1932 at the Desert View Watchtower (constructed by the Fred Harvey Company and designed by famed architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter). In her 1933 book entitled “Manual for Drivers and Guides of the Indian Watchtower at Desert View and its Relation, Architecturally to the Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest,” the image displayed is one of the father giving prayer sticks to his son. The son is about to leave on a journey down the Colorado River in search of the snake people. The mural is part of the snake legend story of the Hopi people. The prayer sticks (feathers) are commonly depicted as part of Hopi customs. (3)
For the complete story of the snake people, please visit: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-HtmlLegends/The_Origin_Of_The_Hopi_Snake_Clan-Hopi.html
Mary Coulter, commissioned the Wachtower at Desert View, which is where the picture you refer to is drawn. She drew on her southwest history to conceive a structure that told tales: (from Mary Colter, Architect of the Southwest)
In the USA, lots of people believe that ear candles are from the Chinese, Mayan Culture, Egypt or even Atlantis.
Russell Shepherd, a manufacturer of machine made ear candles in the United States and author of his sixth and expanded book, Practical Guide to Ear Candling, states:
“Ear candling, sometimes known as “ear coning” was used by the Egyptians, Essenes, East Indians, and Tibetans over 3,000 years ago. Ancient cultures of North and South America and Lemuria have also been associated with the technique.”
Russell continues his introduction with stories of ‘double helix carved cones being used for spiritual healing’ which were used by the spiritual leaders or shamans of the Aztec, Mayan and Northern Native American cultures. Russell writes that as a result of these ‘special initiation rites’ that ear candling became known as a cleansing procedure and is supposedly common in many different cultures.
This information is not only undocumented but also unsubstantiated. However, in an overwhelming majority of the United States, people continuously perpetuate these tales as fact.
Research reveals that some of these stories have evolved from channelings held in Sedona, Arizona at Coning Works. The most widely distorted repeated channeling was conducted by Eleanor Bucci, who is a spiritual consultant for Jane Joy Foundation. She channeled the following information on December 9, 1991: http://www.coningworks.com/channels.htm
Ear coning can be understood as an ancient healing modality – Atlantean, Mayan, Egyptian, Tibetan – which has, as many other healing practices, periodically spent time in “hiding.” It was originally used in conjunction with initiation practices for spiritual leaders in order to strengthen their positions as bearers of great truths and as beacons of light in the darkness. Ear coning was used to open the spiritual centers and to clear and cleanse the physical as well as emotional and other auric bodies. It was used in conjunction with other healing practices and assumed a co-creative position with these practices. Traditionally, conings were performed by master energetic healers who worked on the physical as well as intermediate planes. (Bucci, E. 1991, p. Channelings on Ear Candling)
Even with our current comprehension in the realm of quantum physics, channeling is still not an acceptable form of scientific proof nor does it lend validity to any medical or scientific inquiry, including ear candles. Even the well believed story of a picture being painted on the pyramid walls appears to have evolved from the channelings at Coning Works, where even the owner tells a story of ‘coning’ in a Mayan setting at a pyramid. Myths surrounding the origins of ear candling are an overwhelming problem within the ear candling community. People continue to report and to publish inaccurate and unverified information, even to the violations of tribal cultures, to wit:
This is an ancient and natural therapy handed down by many civilizations. It is believed that the Ancient Greeks used ear candles, initially probably for cleansing, purifying and healing on a spiritual basis, but much later on a purely physical basis. However the practice reached the modern world via the Native American Hopi Indians of North Arizona (it’s interesting to note that Hopi means peaceful people). Ear candles were used traditionally by Shaman healers. Ancient wall paintings show their importance in initiation rituals and healing ceremonies of the tribe. The candles are still made today on the basis of the old traditional formula originating from the Hopi Indians. Lynne Hancher author of A Look at Hopi Candles.
The authors of such books like “Ear Candling – The Essential Guide" continue to perpetrate these myths, like the telephone game we all played as children where things have become distorted and twisted.
So where do ear candles originate from?
From Doc Harmony’s research while writing her dissertation:
- Tom Bluewolf, Muscogee Creek Nation, has used ear candles personally since he was 16 years old. He is approximately 70 years old and can testify that he used ear candles prior to 1976. They made their ear candles out of corn husks when growing up.
- Dr. Berryhill, Decatur, GA went to the Royal Hospital of London on 144 Fleet Street in 1974. He was working in the pediatric clinic (which was friendly towards homeopathy) where he learned about ear candling from Dr. Christopher (a surgeon) at the Royal Hospital of London. He has been in the USA since 1975 using and promoting ear candles.
- Bandos, Marie Bando, Beaumont, TX. As a young person her cousin (who was Lebanese and his wife was Italian) remembers that her mother in law taught her cousin how to make ear candles by rolling up a material and burning it down in the ear when they were sick. She remembers getting her ears candled in 1953 by her cousin, Jake.
- Serendipity, Kingston, NJ, Jeannie Nastus, her mother learned in Sicily, Italy how to make ear candles. They took a pencil, cut up a handkerchief and wrapped it around the pencil and melted wax over it to use as an ear candle when they were sick. Her mother in law, Rosaria Mastus (over 85 years of age) came to the USA in the 1960's.
- Leonora Cook, Midvale, UT was the original owner of Bobalee-Mfg.com. She learned about ear candles from Dr. Christopher in the late 1950’s.
- Many shared stores of Italians, Polish, and Spanish descendants using different types of materials and wax to create ear candles to use when one was under the weather.
Background and History
Ear candling has been in existence for at least two to three generations that are only verifiable through oral testimony. Currently, industry leaders are unsure of ear candlings’ origins and the effective application thereof, even though they are aware of the fact that ear candling has been relied upon for the past few generations to help children with ear infections.
This information is a typical representation of the misconstrued beliefs that have been circulated within the ear candling and natural, holistic communities, which in the end only serves as a self-attack against ear candles. These commonly accepted threads of myth and deception, which happen to be interwoven with truth, present a justified need to challenge. It becomes necessary to answer these types of questions: Which German medical school supposedly taught ear candling? Where is the proof that ear candles originated from where? How could ear candles remove debris from the ear? etc.
The publishers of these types of statements on their website admit that they have no verified sources validating the claims on their websites and that they simply reference other manufacturers, like Biosun ear candles (the creator of the Hopi deception) or refer people to the internet. For example, Lees Ear Candles owner, Betty Lee, responded to her claims about ear candles’ origination with the following response:
There is very little verifiable data on the history of candling. From the internet you can find numerous sources that state candling started in China and Egypt in very early cultures, but I have not found any historically recorded references. (B. Lee, personal communication, July 10, 2006)
Regrettably these types of unfounded assumptions continue to be published over and over without any verification.
HCPO Policy and Research
Protocol for Research, Publications and Recordings:
Motion, visual, sound, multimedia and other mechanical devices
The Hopi Tribe
The Hopi people desire to protect their rights to privacy and in and to Hopi intellectual resources. Due to the continued abuse, misrepresentation and exploitation of the rights of the Hopi people, it is necessary that guidelines be established and strictly followed so as to protect the rights of the present and future generations of the Hopi people.
Towards this end, the Hopi Tribe shall be consulted by all projects or activity involving Hopi intellectual resources and that such project or activity be reviewed and approved by the Office of Historic and Cultural Preservation through a permitting process or other contractual agreement.
This Protocol should in no way be construed as being a call for commoditization or commercialization of the intellectual resources of Hopi people, nor is it a justification to bring the Hopi people unwillingly into a commercial relationship. The Hopi Tribe reserves the right to NOT sell, commoditize or have expropriated from them certain domains of knowledge or information.
March 1, 2004
Dear Ms. King,
Thank you for your letter dated March 2, 2004, in follow-up to your September 19, 2003, requesting clarification of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office's response.
The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office is not aware of Hopi people ever practicing "Ear Candeling." Biosun and Revital Ltd. are misrepresenting the name "Hopi" with their products. This therapy should not be called "Hopi Ear Candeling." The history of Ear Candeling should not refer to being used by the Hopi Tribe. Use of this false information with reference to Hopi should be stopped.
We appreciate your efforts to stop this false representation the United Kingdom, and we will inquire as to whether Martin Gashweseoma gave permission for the use of his image for the promotion of ear candles. Thank you for your interest in resolving this situation.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Lee Wayne Lomayestewa at the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office. Thank you again for your consideration.
Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Director
Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
xc: Martin Gashwesoma, Hotevilla
Lee Wayne Lomayestewa
Kenneth Quanimptewa, CSA, Hotevilla
Raj Vora, Revital, Ltd., 78 High St., Ruislip-Middx. HA4 7AA, UK
Vanessa A. Charles
Public Relations Officer
The Hopi Tribe
P.O. Box 123
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
----- Forwarded by Tara Travis/CACH/NPS on 02/23/2006 03:23 PM -----
To: Tara Travis/CACH/NPS@NPS
02/23/2006 03:11 cc:
PM MST Subject: Re: Fw: Hopi Murals Question(Document link: Tara Travis)
Tara -- if you want, you can forward this:
The mural is one-quadrant of a 4 quadrant mural painted by Fred Kabotie in
1932 at the Desert View Watchtower (constructed by the Fred Harvey Company and designed by famed architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter). In her 1933 book entitled "Manual for Drivers and Guides of the Indian Watchtower at Desert View and its Relation, Architecturally, to the Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest", the image displayed is of the father giving prayer sticks to his son. The son is about to leave on a journey down the Colorado River in search of the snake people. The mural is part of the snake legend story of the Hopi people. The prayer sticks (feathers) are commonly depicted as part of Hopi customs.
I hope this answers your question.
Janet R. Balsom
Chief, Cultural Resources
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
(928) 638-7758 (office)
(928) 638-7650 (fax)
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