Banjara Been (Pungi) Academy & Exhibition - Rohatgi Music & Art Gallery

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Banjara Been (Pungi)


The Banjara Been, also known as the Pungi, is a traditional wind instrument originating from India. It is commonly associated with snake charmers due to its historical use in snake charming performances.

The Banjara Been is a type of aerophone, specifically a wind instrument, made from a gourd or a small bottle with a single reed or sometimes a pair of reeds. It typically consists of a hollow tube, usually made of bamboo or other similar materials, with holes along its length. The player blows air into the instrument through a mouthpiece while covering and uncovering the holes to produce different pitches.

Traditionally, the Banjara Been was used by snake charmers to produce a distinctive and haunting melody believed to charm or control snakes, although in reality, snakes respond more to the movement and vibrations of the instrument rather than its sound. However, due to concerns about the welfare of snakes and changes in cultural practices, the use of the Banjara Been in snake charming has declined.