Charmed I’m sure…

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.

“At twelve the children will know everything that they can know about snakes. They are then ready to continue the traditions of the Vadi tribe which can be stretched back over 1,000 years to India’s great Rajas (kings).”

There’s a photo gallery here.

via Arbroath