For a long time, the image of the flute controlling the cobras bending to the music has become a familiar symbol of India and the Arab world. The art of “captivating” flute originated in ancient Egypt. However, this form of performance developed particularly strongly in India.
Cobra is the most commonly used species in the show. To ensure their own safety, flute artists often remove the fangs and poison glands of snakes. They also keep a safe distance during the performance and avoid getting the animals excited.
The flautist put snakes in a woven basket and threaded all the baskets on a long bamboo stick to carry on his shoulders. They often choose performance venues in crowded places. After displaying the baskets to the ground, the artisans sat cross-legged and made a flamboyant flute. When the lid of the basket was opened, the snakes raised their heads, moving in rhythm with the flute.
Having witnessed many magic shows combining snakes and pungi, many people have been mistaken for this reptilian’s ability to absorb sound, as they bend their bodies with music. However, the truth about this magic show is completely contrary to our thinking.
Because of the hidden procedure, those who control snakes in the past were often respected
Snakes do not have ears
Snakes do not have ears like many other animals. The ears of snakes have degenerated with the outer ear completely gone, while the inner ear is only a bone without the necessary parts such as the ossiculum and eardrum. Therefore, it can be said that snakes do not have ears.
Instead, their inner ears are connected to the jawbone. The solid jaw captures external vibrations that transmit and send signals to the brain for analysis. So even without ears, snakes will still be able to hear, but rely on their perception of vibrations, especially with vibrations transmitted through the ground.
Cobras are often used for performing, because they have a beautiful, aggressive and easily manipulated appearance.
Simple tips in magic tricks
In trumpets, the audience is often drawn to the serpent’s dance and the driver’s mysterious trumpet. On closer notice, magicians often sit cross-legged, their feet knocking on the ground in response to the beat of the trumpet. Foot rhythms are often very common for musicians, so audiences often don’t realize that this is actually the trick used to control snakes.
Because they are particularly sensitive to vibrations transmitted from the ground, snakes receive signals from the magician’s footsteps to perform dances, which is essentially the snake’s usual reaction to external static motions. Because of not understanding this principle, many people tried to use music to make snakes dance but failed.
There are quite a few people who are still curious about the snake control magic show.
Controlling snakes with a pungi can also sometimes cause misunderstandings. Many families in Asian countries have hired magicians to chase snakes. When snakes were found in the house, they invited shamans to use the pungi to lure the snakes out of the house. Similar to the magic trick controlling dancing snakes, the trumpet is actually just a means to hide the secret of real snake control.
Later, when these tips were revealed, the snake control magic gradually lost its appeal. To date, only a handful of people see snake dancing as the dominant way of life. Typically, they will perform street performances in conjunction with the sale of snake-related items such as snake bile, amulets, snake skin or snake venom remedy.