Indian snake charmers and how they mock King Cobras



We’ve all seen the videos. Massive King Cobra getting smacked on the head or fooled around with and even cuddled with by a relaxed Indian dude. It seems to be a learnt skill. How? Why?

In: Other

Cobras and other venomous snakes are common across much rural India. Many people–especially people living in rural areas–are forced to deal with cobras, kraits, and other species of snake as a part of everyday life. Since government services can be sparse to nonexistent in some parts of the country, people will often take the risk of removing a snake from a problem area themselves.

In some instances, people may also be trained snake-catchers–this profession is often inter-generational, so children may have been taught how to interact with snakes from a very early age.

It’s like anything else, really: how do [some] Australians wrestle crocodiles? How can a cowboy stay atop a bucking bronco? Practice, exposure, and more practice.

Of course, many Hindu Indians have a religious affinity for snakes, especially the King Cobra. There are a handful of villages in India–like Shetpal in Maharashtra–where people actively worship and co-exist with snakes, which are (allegedly) allowed to move freely between homes and sleep wherever they wish.