Shocking Sight Of Indian Children Learning To Seduce A Cobra From The Age Of Two
It’s pretty clear who’s having the last laugh here – and it’s not hard to see why, as it’s the slithering serpents who are revered in this tribe.
In the north Indian village of Gauriganj, handling snakes is quite literally child’s play. Every youngster is brought up in the company of ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs snakes so they can grow up to be ace snake charmers.
And one of the favourite snakes in the village seems to be happy to oblige, judging by the smiling face on the back of its head.
Having mastered the art himself, Uttam Nath, 44, says the villagers see it as their duty to introduce the young members of their community to snakes as soon as possible.
He said: ‘The training begins at two. ‘The children are then taught the ancient ways of snake charming until they are ready to take up their roles in our community.’
‘Before the children go out they should know everything that they can know about snakes.’
Snakes enjoy a sacred status in Gauriganj and children as young as three years old can been seen handling the slithering creatures with ease.
In this village, school is swapped for snake-charming lessons, with each boy completing a ten-year initiation ritual which teaches them to be fully fledged professional snake charmers.
The men earn their crust by showing off their skills with a traditional flute. But the women in the village don’t shy away from the snakes either – their role is to care for the serpents when the men are not around.
And despite most children growing up playing with snakes and not toys – some even carrying king cobras around their necks – they haven’t managed to tame the ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs reptiles entirely.
Nath said: ‘We not only charm snakes but we also rescue them and save people from snake bites.
‘If someone around the village has had a snake or scorpion bite, we cure him with natural therapy.’
The snake charmer tribe, which has a hierarchy of seven social classes, takes great pride in its association with the dєαdlч snakes in the area.
The social status of a family even depends on the number of snakes it possesses.