Haiti's Kanaval Unmasked
For a window into Haitian culture, watch as the colorful pantomiming parade of political commentary, Voodoo references and oversized, expressive papier-mâché masks known as Kanaval floods the streets in the seaside town of Jacmel.
Jacmel’s KanavalIn addition to the capital celebration, Haiti’s national Kanaval also takes place in another city, which rotates every year. Despite that, the seaside town of Jacmel still traditionally organizes its own Kanaval 1 week before the larger parade in Port-au-Prince. 960 1280
Jacmel, the Heart of KanavalWhile the official Kanaval is held in the capital, Port-au-Prince, Jacmel’s 3-day celebration is the heart of Kanaval in Haiti and is known to be the more artistic carnival, largely because of the papier-mâché masks that the town is known for creating. 960 1280
UNESCO CandidateJacmel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate, and in December 2014, the seaside town joined the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative. Jacmel, one of only 2 network members in the Caribbean (Nassau, Bahamas, also joined in 2014), is recognized for its crafts and folk arts. 960 1280
Animal and Demon MasksThe masks typically depict animals, often painted in vibrant, unnatural colors. Other masks are a terrifying blend of demons, animals and humans. Children and young men don the oversized masks, which sometimes leave just their legs protruding out. 960 1280
Photojournalist Bess Adler
All photos were taken during an English in Mind trip. For more information on volunteering and traveling with English in Mind, a Haitian-led English school in Port-au-Prince, go to englishinmindinstitute.org.960 1280