Performing Art Snakes: Snake charming is a traditional street performance art form that is commonly linked to India. It involves using a flute-like instrument called a pungi to play a captivating melody and charm snakes, especially cobras. The snake charmer, known as a sapera or snake player, performs in the streets, marketplaces, and festivals, captivating audiences with their skillful handling of venomous snakes.
Snake charming has a long history in India and holds deep significance in Indian culture and mythology. In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is often portrayed with a snake around his neck, representing his mastery over the forces of nature. This connection with snakes has led to the reverence and fascination for these creatures in Indian society.
The performance of snake charmers begins by locating a snake, usually a cobra, either in the wild or from a snake farm. They capture the snake and keep it in a wicker basket or clay pot. When the performance commences, the snake charmer sits on the ground with crossed legs and begins playing the pungi, creating a distinctive and mesmerizing melody. The snake responds to the sound and rhythm, seemingly dancing to the music.
The snake charmer moves slowly and carefully, creating a captivating show. As the snake sways and rises from the basket, the charmer stays in control, often using gestures and hand movements to guide the snake’s actions. The snake’s hood, which is its defense mechanism, is frequently shown, adding to the excitement of the performance.
Speaking charmingly is considered an art form, but it’s important to note that it can be controversial and raise ethical concerns. Keeping and handling snakes in captivity can cause stress and harm to the animals. Recently, there has been a growing awareness and a movement for animal welfare, resulting in regulations and bans on snake charming in some parts of India.
Even though there are disagreements, snake charming remains an important part of India’s cultural heritage. It attracts visitors from all over the world who are intrigued by the mysterious nature of these performances. People are working to protect the cultural aspects of snake charming while also encouraging responsible and ethical treatment of snakes and other animals involved in these performances.
In simple words, snake charming is a traditional street performance in India. It includes music, dance, and the fascinating presence of snakes. It is a unique and captivating art form that has cultural importance and ethical aspects to consider.