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A photo documentary of the last Serpent Handling Churches in America being compiled and preserved into a book for future generations.
A photo documentary of the last Serpent Handling Churches in America being compiled and preserved into a book for future generations.
48 backers pledged $12,435 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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 In the hills of West Virginia lives the last of a small community of Serpent Handlers abiding to the word of God.  A family of faith that lives under a doctrine not commonly seen today.  This is the last state where this practice is legal and there are less than 15 members remaining.  

For one month in 2010 I was taken in by the congregation, granted access to live with them and document their way of life. Serpent Handling is an old time religion that is rapidly fading away. It is a world not typically seen, yet often misunderstood and misrepresented. In these services I documented their miracles of healing, handling serpents, and drinking strychnine poison.

I'm now in the process of completing a book that shares their story filled with the photographs, writing, Super 8 footage and audio recordings of their church services. I need to generate $12,000.00 in order to meet the production and publication deadlines for the book, "A Testimony of Serpent Handling". Any funds raised over the amount needed will go directly to the costs of the opening reception and book release at MILK Gallery, NYC. 

This is an historical document which with your support can help ensure that their way of life will be remembered.

Thank you very much for your support, 

Hunter Barnes

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Full name acknowledgement in the book, A Testimony of Serpent Handling.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A signed postcard of one of the images from A Testimony of Serpent Handling plus full name recognition in the book.

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    7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A signed, limited edition copy of Hunter Barnes previous book Outside of Life (50 copies available) plus full name recognition in A Testiomony of Serpent Handling.

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    8 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    An 8"x10" digital signed print from A Testimony of Serpent Handling plus full name recognition in the book.

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    2 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A signed copy of the book A Testimony of Serpent Handling (24 copies available) plus full name recognition in the book.

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    5 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A signed, limited edition 16"x20" silver gelatin print edition of 4 from A Testimony of Serpent Handling, hand printed by Hunter Barnes plus full name recognition in the book.

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A signed, limited edition 16"x20" silver gelatin print edition of 4 from A Testimony of Serpent Handling, hand printed by Hunter Barnes, as well as a private appointment with Hunter Barnes to review his body of work at Milk Studios NYC (transportation to NYC not included) plus full name recognition in the book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)