Haiti’s snake charmer – in pictures

Snake handler Saintilus Resilus is a performance artist who exhibits snakes and other animals which Haitians don’t see every day, earning tips from impromptu audiences. Peak season for Saintilus is the pre-Lenten Carnival

Snake handler Saintilus Resilus looks in the mirror as he paints his face red before performing with snakes during the pre-Lenten Carnival

Saintilus Resilus holds a snake in his mouth as he performs for money during the pre-Lenten Carnival season.

Saintilus Resilus holds a snake in front of his lips as he trains the snake to recognize his smell.

Resilus and an assistant hold snakes as they perform for money during the pre-Lenten Carnival season in Petionville, Haiti. It’s the serpents that help Resilus eat and pay rent, as well as his work as a neighborhood herbalist.

Saintilus Resilus, with his face painted red, talks to his assistants as they get ready to perform.

Resilus watches a football match at home while holding a snake. A bag of snakes lays at his feet.

Resilus, right, and his assistant Renal Joseph are pushed in a boat by a young man paid to ferry them across the river in L’Estere, in Haiti’s Artibonite state, to search of animals to catch.

An assistant of Resilus holds a doll as part of a snake performance during pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations.

Saintilus Resilus performs with an owl he caught in the wild a few days beforehand. Resilus promises to release the owl after the festival.

Resilus performs with a snake wrapped around his face as he and assistants walk in the streets during the pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations in Petionville, Haiti. Haiti’s snakes aren’t venomous, but they have poisoned some relationships. Resilus’ wife left him in 1991.

Spectators take pictures of the snakes during a street performance.

Saintilus Resilus uses a Guinness bottle to pour water into a snake’s mouth as he works at home in Petionville


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