As a computational bridge between the high-level a priori knowledge of object shape and the low-level image data, active contours (or snakes) are useful models for the extraction of deformable objects. We propose an approach for manipulating multiple snakes iteratively, called interacting snakes, that minimizes the attraction energy functionals on both contours and enclosed regions of individual snakes and the repulsion energy functionals among multiple snakes that interact with each other. We implement the interacting snakes through explicit curve (parametric active contours) representation in the domain of face recognition. We represent human faces semantically via facial components such as eyes, mouth, face outline, and the hair outline. Each facial component is encoded by a closed (or open) snake that is drawn from a 3D generic face model. A collection of semantic facial components form a hypergraph, called semantic face graph, which employs interacting snakes to align the general facial topology onto the sensed face images. Experimental results show that a successful interaction among multiple snakes associated with facial components makes the semantic face graph a useful model for face representation, including cartoon faces and caricatures, and recognition.