snake charmers in India

New attitudes to snakes in India

July 29th, 2009

The sight of a snake charmer is part of picturesque India.  But behind the mysticism the reality is toothless snakes with sewn up mouths.  The saperas (the charmers) are especially active around the Hindu snake festival of Nagpanchami, when traditionally thousands of snakes have been trapped, mutilated and brought into the cities for veneration, the operation rounded off by the trading of snake skins.  But awareness campaigns mean that traditions are changing. Read the rest of this entry