Cobra bite kills artist during show in Orissa

April 9th, 2008 - 5:25 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, April 9 (IANS) A folk artist died of snake bite after attempting to coil a king cobra around his upper arms and neck in Orissa’s Ganjam district. Residents organized “Danda nacha” (the drama of penance), a popular form of folk dance in Panthikhadi village, around 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar Monday night.

The artists were performing “Shiva Tandaba”, the dance of destruction of Hindu god Shiva. As per mythology, Hindu god Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake.

To make the dance livelier, the artists bought a poisonous cobra, Oriya daily Sambad reported Wednesday.

Santosh Behera, 28, who was playing the role of Shiva danced before hundreds of villagers after coiling the snake around his arms and neck.

Although the snake charmer had told them that the snake would not cause harm, the snake bit him.

The villagers took Santosh to the local hospital but he died.

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