Saumpareeah or Snake Catcher
Charles Doyley

c. 1813 
Hand coloured Aquatint

This aquatint titled Saumpareeah or Snake Catcher by Sir Charles Doyley was published in a book consisting of twenty aquatints in 1813, titled ‘The European in India’. The purpose of the book was to introduce the reader to the lifestyle of a Company servant with a language that was instructive as well as amusing. This drawing reflects the popular imagery of India and gives the reader an insight into the life of a Company officer in pre-imperial India. This image shows a snake catcher or a ‘Saumpareeah’ who is playing an instrument and exhibiting snakes before the Europeans.