Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Sitting less than a metre away from a poisonous cobra, the children show no signs of fear and do not flinch when faced with one of the deadly snakes. 

Children in India's 600-strong Vadi tribe are first introduced to snakes at the age of two. 
All Vadi children complete a ten-year initiation ritual that culminates in the boys becoming fully-fledged performing snake charmers. 
The act of snake charming with a traditional flute is the role of the men, while the Vadi women care for the snakes and handle them when their husbands or brothers are not around. 

"The training begins at two, the children then are then taught the ancient ways of snake charming until they are ready to take up their roles in our community," says chief snake charmer Babanath Mithunath Madari, 60.

India—Children of the many snake charmers in the village of Padmakesharpur are no strangers to cobras. Early encounters with defanged or devenomed snakes help the babies grow up fearless.
Photo by Adrian Fisk, Digital Railroad


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