A focus that attracts many visitors to the Valdi tribe of India is, the tribe instructs their children to charm snakes by installing their own kindergarten schools. Equally, a significant approach comes as the training is not one like the regular school curricula. Most importantly, they solve the problem on hefty cost of books and hurried application fees in the regular classrooms from year to year. This is how the 600 people population that the Indian tribe presents, quite a contrast to what is in stored in a technology inspired renaissance economy as India partners with China and Japan in her solar energy investments.
Take control of their own early learning school by teaching their children to be skilled snake charmers is what they achieve. It has become a way of life that sustains family earnings. With very little population subsisting, they are ever moving from one town to another. Their migration is apparent every six months.
It gives light to the picture of men and younger children making cobra snakes dance, put up a performance to the tune of their local flute version. In fact, this scene is obvious every time India as a subject comes to fore and during the time when less was known about the tribes from India.
Why a snake charmer
To the Valdis, the snakes (cobras) are not one to be afraid of. In fact, they have a mythologic bond with them as they become part of the household. Many visitors are surprised that the men are able to catch these fierce snakes without being bitten.Then, they are cared for, housed in bins ala bamboo baskets. Snake charming preparation includes following acts with sounds and music by the traditional Indian flute called Punji.
Significantly, the attention the family gives to the cobras, in fact, has become a distinction of gender roles inside the house. The woman is to care for the snakes, nourish them and detoxify them of venom via herbs that they ingest on a regular basis.
The charming stays on
Attributes to the charming ritual are one like a hypnotizing session that shuffles the snakes to dance or move with the rhythm of the sound or music from punji ( or bansuri) the local flute. As the charmer starts the “sorcerous” session, the snakes then follow by performing dangerous stunts as presented by the charmer’s hands.
They can thus wrangle on the handler’s instructions but quick responses as part of the training become a factor that makes tourists applaud the snake charming. The skill takes about ten years of practice and actual performance.
When you travel to India, run across this type of adventure with the Valdi Tribe in Rajkot. There are however other tribes that exist and who are thus skilled in catching and enticing snakes for a show. Some other tribes from theTamil Nadu ‘s of South India ( known as Pombu Pittaran or Pombatti ), and the Saperas from Punjab, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh area do the job with less effort and in a jiffy as well
Snake charming is also seen in Egypt, Sri, Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan and Malaysia. Note though that some states have banned snake charming totally.
Photo: Valdi snake charmers from Getty Images ( all rights reserved to the original owners).