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An African medicine man, 1930 - 1950

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y304Q/6/1/5/5

Scope and Contents

200 x 250 mm. The caption continues: 'This photograph and those which follow show an African ‘doctor’ (Swahili: ‘Mganga’) performing the operation of cupping or blood letting upon a client. Briefly, the method is to extract blood by the powerful sucking action formed by the partial vacuum created in cows horns which are affixed to various parts of the body (the temples and along the backs).

After shaving off any hair superficial criss-cross cuts are made and then the blood collecting horn is placed over the area, the air being sucked out of a hole in the other end and the work completed by sealing with beeswax.

In this picture the ‘Mganga’ and his client are seen after the horns have been affixed. Note the needle in the ‘doctor’s’ mouth used for piercing the beeswax prior to removing the horns.’


  • 1930 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

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Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Fair condition.



Finding aid date

2006-05-22 15:09:03+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom