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Pakistan: In Pakistan, there is a tribe of snake charmers who call themselves Jogis. Their lifestyles can be seen as bizarre to some of us but to them it is more than a just way of surviving.


Misri Jogi, the chieftain of the tribe cites that his men travel across the province and make their earning by providing cheap entertainment to the children and the elders. According to him, while all snakes are valuable, the Cobra has always been regarded as a sacred being. In their tribe, Jogi jokingly says, that they don’t love their wives as much as they love their Cobra. On the other hand, it is actually true that the snake is treated like a child of the family. They consider it as their friend and their companion. They even take the snake with them to their bed during the months of winter, to keep it warm.

The training that is provided to the children to become a successful snake charmer starts from the birth itself. A child of five or six months is given a taste of a Cobra poison.

One aspect of it is that the Cobra produces a talisman called Mannka, in the local language, which protects them from snake bites. The talisman sucks the poison from the blood while swelling in the process and then the person transfers the poison into a cotton ball.

Though the increasing provision, for formal education and stable jobs, is making many of the present generation to lose interest in their ancestral profession.

Misri Jogi, despite the transitions still hopes that the present youth will continue the traditions of the tribe well into the future.


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