Have you ever heard
about the Hopi snake dance? It is an Indian ritual performed in northern
Arizona in late August. People believe that this elaborate ceremony in
which the Hopi rattlesnake is involved may cause gods to bring rain and
fertility. Actually the ceremonies last nine days. On the third day, tribesmen
go out and catch 15 to 60 snakes. In the following days the snakes are
being prepared (ceremonially washed) for the climax of the whole ritual-
that is the dance itself. It is performed on the ninth and final day. People
dance in groups and each dancer holds a snake in his lips. After all snakes
have taken part in the dance, they are put in a circle drawn with corn
flour, sprinkled with white cornmeal, then carried out to designated spots
and finally released to convey the request for rich harvest to the rain
gods of the underworld.
Another crazy fact,
but true!… Fundamentalist Christian groups of the southeastern states handle
venomous snakes feeling protected by their strong faith in God. This has
caused a couple of deaths though!
It may be strange but snakes
are eaten today by certain peoples. Usually larger snakes are preferred
since they yield more meat. In North America these are some rattlesnakes.
In Asian countries such as China, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong cobras,
vipers, sea snakes and kraits satisfy the appetite of keen enthusiasts.
A cobra goddess called Ejo
protected the Nile delta and guarded the Pharaohs in Egypt. The cobra in
the Pharaoh’s crown symbolized the power and divinity of Egypt’s monarchs.