Witch Dancing with King Cobra in Burma, Video: Fact Check

Image about Witch Dancing with King Cobra in Burma, Video
Witch Dancing with King Cobra in Burma, Video


This video is so rare! The historical footage of the witch dancing with king cobra in Burma in the 18th and 19th centuries was recorded by the British field exploration photography group. Thrilling

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Burmese witch dances with King cobra

Fact Check:

An astounding video in circulation online claims to show a historical footage of a Burmese Witch Dancing with a King Cobra. It shows a group of people coming to offer some traditional stuff to the huge deadly serpent. Later, the woman moves around the King Cobra, handles it exceptionally well with hands and kisses repeatedly on its forehead. The rare, too good to believe video is real, but the woman pulling off the unbelievable feat is not any witch.

Image about Witch Dancing with King Cobra in Burma, Video

About the ‘Witch Dancing with King Cobra’ Video

Snakes, especially Cobras, have fascinated humans since ages. In Asian countries like India, Cobra charming was popular during ancient times and people worshipped them as snake god Naga. Some people at the time nurtured snakes well and had an inexplicable desire for close interaction and intimacy with large, highly venomous species. The video in question shows one such traditional practice.

Belgian-born documentary filmmaker Armand Georges Denis (2 December 1896 – 15 April 1971) went on an Asiatic Expedition in 1939. In northern Burma (now Myanmar), he investigated whether ophiolatreia (snake-worship) was still practiced there. An old Buddhist priest told him to travel to the remote mountainous village in Burma, where women were traditional priestesses of King Cobras. The video shows a group of villagers carrying offerings to the snake god with traditional orchestra of gongs and bells. They went up the side of Die Mountain and the woman offered traditional gifts to the serpent. Then she calls upon the huge snake as the fourteen foot king cobra comes down suddenly, rearing up its head to strike. The priestess of the king cobra handles the huge serpent well, distracts it with her movements and manages to kiss on forehead three times.

Image of Priestess of King Cobra kissing on its forehead
Priestess of King Cobra kissing on its forehead

Old Video Shot in Burma

The footage comes from an old video shot in Burma during the Denis-Roosevelt Asiatic Expedition in 1939. It was led by filmmaker Armand Denis and his wife Leila Roosevelt. Armand Denis became well known in Britain as the director and co-presenter of natural history programs on television during 1950s and 1960s. In the video showing his Asiatic expedition, you can see the full footage of the village worshipping the king cobra.

Before the traditional visit to the snake, the women prepares a paste of softwood she applies on her face, neck. During the deadly interaction with the huge snake, the woman must have known by instinct when the snake would strike. She moves her knees and hands so as to deflect the blow and the cobra in fact buries its fangs into the folds of her skirt. This happened again and again, and appeared as if the woman was dancing with the snake. She rather handled the deadly serpent well, kissing three times on its forehead. Notably, the documentary video also mentions the woman’s white skirt was damp with the potent venom stains of the king cobra.

To conclude, the historic video of snake charming in Burma is real, but as such it does not show a witch dancing with king cobra.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.


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