The Wider Image: Charming snakes
An ancient tribe of snake charmers, known as Saperas, have thrived over the generations by catching venomous snakes and making them dance to their music. Snakes are revered by Hindus in India and snake charmers are considered the followers of Lord Shiva, the blue-skinned Hindu god who is usually portrayed wearing a king cobra around his neck. Snake charmers were once a regular fixture at Indian bazaars and festivals, mesmerising crowds of onlookers with their ability to control some of the world's most venomous creatures. They would often be the main source of medicines if someone suffered from a snake bite. The snake charmers of Jogi Dera say their centuries-old tradition is slowly dying out as authorities seek to enforce wildlife protection laws, and after an outright ban on the practice in 1991. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. SEARCH "SNAKE CHARMERS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.