As the name indicates, people originally used to blow on the actual horns of animals before starting to emulate them in metal or other materials. This original usage survives in the shofar), a ram's horn, which plays an important role in Jewish religious rituals. The olifant or oliphant was the name applied in the Middle Ages to ivory hunting or signalling horns made from elephants' tusks. Apparently of Asian origin, they reached Europe from Byzantium in the tenth or eleventh century, and are first mentioned in French literature in the early 12th century. In Europe they came to be symbols of royalty.