Before the practice of snake charming was banned, this photo was taken outside of the Humayun tomb in New Delhi, India. Photo was taken in 2006.
Snake charming is the practice of appearing to hypnotize a snake (often a cobra) by playing and waving around an instrument called a pungi. Snake charming as it exists today probably originated in India. Hinduism has long held serpents to be sacred; the animals are related to the Nagas, and many gods are pictured under the protection of the cobra. Indians thus considered snake charmers to be holy men who were influenced by the gods.
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