Infolinks In Text Ads

How do Sword Swallowers Swallow Swords?

Friday, December 5, 2008

In an age of sophisticated movie effects and skillful stuntmen, we usually conclude that dangerous exploits on the screen or stage are somehow rigged - especially if the feat is as daring as sword swallowing. But the fact that most performers of this uncanny act do not fake it or use gimmicks.

In the 19th century a street juggler, originally a zouave or member of a French infantry unit noted for its quick-spirited drills, used to allow spectators to touch the projection of a saber pressing against his stomach wall below the sternum. He was a braver fellow than most, for many performers of this feat swallow a 17 to 19 inch guiding tube beforehand and retain it, partially swallowed, throughout the performance. The tube protects the path along which the sword will descend.

Caroline Sutton's "How Do They Do That" says that in order to gradually overcome the gag reflex, a sword swallowers begin practicing with smaller objects, such as spoons and forks, being careful not to drop them whole. With head titled back , mouth open wide, he aims to align with the descending object his mouth, pharynx, esophagus, cardiac opening and distended stomach. The total distance is about 21-1/2 to 24-1/2 inches about the length of the flat blade of the saber. Needless to say, the sword swalloers must fast before such a performance.


Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Brownium by 2009

Back to TOP