An Indian snake charmer

Most of the snake charmers who arrived in Singapore during the 19th century were immigrants from the city of Poona (now known as Pune) in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. These roadside entertainers made a living by making their pet snakes ‘dance’ to the music of their ‘naskar’, which is a flute-like instrument made from a bamboo stem and coconut shell. Snake charmers were a popular tourist attraction in the 1950s and 1960s and they often performed outside hotels and other public places that were frequented by tourists such as Sentosa and Mount Faber. They have since become a rare sight in modern-day Singapore.