Michele Sibiloni Photographs Uganda’s Grasshopper Catchers

Nsenene are a delicacy and an important source of income in Uganda. Technically bush crickets but generally referred to as “grasshoppers”, nsenene migrate en masse twice a year, right after the two rainy seasons. Huge swarms fill the sky shortly before sunrise. So, night after night during cricket season, many Ugandans stay up till dawn to catch the critters. The omnipresence of the lustrous greenish insects amid the nocturnal mist and the smoke of bonfires submerges the whole country in an otherworldly atmosphere, an eerie effect compounded by all the bizarre paraphernalia involved, especially the fancifully contrived tools and traps. Flurries of hectic activity alternate with long periods of waiting around and killing time. 

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