The pungi (Hindi: पुंगी), also known as the been (बीन), or the murli, is a wind instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent. The instrument consists of a reservoir into which air is blown and then channelled into two reed pipes. It is played with no pauses, as the player employs circular breathing. In street performances, the pungi is used for snake charming.
The pungi is an Indian folk music instrument that is mostly played by cobra charmers in Sindh, Pakistan, and Rajasthan, India. The instrument is made from a dry hollowed gourd with two bamboo attachments. It is also a double-reed instrument. The pungi is played by Jogi in the Thar desert.
It was theorized that it was made not just for snake charming, but to make people enter a half-conscious state as part of a religious practice. It is in particular played by snake charmers, mostly in the Terai and Nepal, to arouse snakes to dance.
The instrument has a high, thin tone and continuous low humming.
It has been an important instrument in Indian folk culture and is known by various names in different parts of India. In northern India, it is known as the been, tumbi, and bansi; in the south, it is known as the magudi, mahudi, pungi, and pambaattikuzhal. 
The pungi is constructed from a solid coconut cover, to which pieces of bamboo are joined, and has two components: a hollow vessel constructed from a gourd, and two pipes, each with a free-beating single reed (jivala) similar to the reeds of a mijwiz, with eight to nine finger holes.
The player blows air through the top tube-like portion of the instrument. One pipe makes drone-like sounds. and the other produces the melody. The pipe that produces the melody has seven holes and a range of one octave. The drone pipe only has one hole. Traditionally, both sounds are played simultaneously using circular breathing to create a hypnotic effect.
The pungi is usually played solo, as it is difficult to play it with other instruments.
Ban on snake charmingEdit
The instrument was often used to entertain the public with snake charming. However, this practice was eventually banned throughout the country in 1991, under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- Hulusi, a similar Chinese instrument.
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