Welcome to the Year of the Snake! Contrary to Western thinking, for the Chinese the snake has none of the negative stigma associated with expressions such as “a snake in the grass”, “peddling snake oil”, let alone being instrumental in Adam and Eve’s downfall. According to Chinese astrology this year’s zodiac animal is a black water snake. It contains the elements of both fire and water. While the snake is shy, cautious and likes to stay in the background and out of sight, it can also turn on you, when disturbed, attacked or hungry. The snake possesses wisdom and intelligence. So watch your step this coming year! That’s not bad advice!
The images above and below feature wood carvings by Taiwan’s indigenous tribes who hold the snake in high esteem. The snakes in the carvings are cottonmouth snakes, a variety of poisonous vipers. (These and many more images are available at Photogenic Asia Stock Images.)