Monday, 24 June 2019


Pulling kids by the ear was one of favourite school punishments the world over. But was this done just out of cruelty or was there originally another deeper reason for pulling kids ears which was over time forgotten?

In Serbia in the past, a teacher would ask kids a question, and would go through the class untill he found someone who knew the answer. That kid would then be told to go and pull the ears of all the kids who didn't know the answer. 

The licking clean of ears by snakes was a common theme in Greek mythology. The snake licked clean the ears of Asclepius, allowing him to learn knowledge and skill that had previously been hidden to man...

During Roman time, in court, a witness would be pulled by the ear by a person saying "memento!" to help the witness to remember what happened better... 

Babrius (Greek: Βάβριος) was the author of a collection of Greek fables. In one of them, while dying father is telling his son what he is leaving him, he is pulling the son by the ear, so he doesn't forget what he is being told. 

Pliny the elder wrote that people believed that the memory was located in the earlobes...Hence pulling the earlobes in Roman courts to stimulate the memory... 

While writing about kings and wars Virgil was pulled by the ear by Apollo. Servius says that this was because "ear is the seat of memory, just like the forehead is the seat of genius"...

The reason why Buddha has big earlobes is because big earlobes are the sign of knowledge and enlightenment...

This is why in India school kids are "punished" by "thoppukaranam". You pull your earlobes by opposite hands and you squat 10 times. By the way this is the same ritual performed in front of Buddha, the enlightened one. 

The latest research data from India says that this ear pulling yoga exercise balances the left and right hemispheres of our brains. Interestingly, ears contain acupuncture points that affect to all the other parts of the body. The earlobe corresponds to the head🙂 

Now where did this "belief" that pulling your earlobes will stimulate your memory originated? Maybe in India and was brought to Europe during various westward migrations? Serbs have preserved the memory of "motherland India" in their epics. I wrote about this in my post "Triglav, Trojan, Trinity, Trimurti, Agni"

But maybe it originated in Europe during Bronze age and was brought to India during one of many eastward migrations? After all, the earliest possible acupuncture evidence comes from Europe. The so called "Ötzi the Iceman" is the  5300 years old body found frozen in the German Alps. The Iceman's tattoos align with classic acupuncture points, and the plants found amongst his belongings have well-known medical applications .

The quality most often given to a king by Enki starting from the Early-Dynastic royal inscriptions is "geštu". The word means "ear(s); hearing; understanding, intelligence" and is in relation to Enki used to denote capability to receive through the ears,  practical skill, understanding, and cleverness. This feature is repeated in relation to Enki throughout the history of Sumerian texts. It seems that for Sumerians, the human ear was considered as the seat of intelligence. In the same sense the Akkadian uznu (ear, wisdom) was used

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating connections here! Thanks for this thoughtful post, Goran.