PETERSBURG-AK Three young couples and their families celebrated their love and Native Alaskan culture last week in a traditional Tlingit wedding at Petersburg’s community gym. According to the celebrants, it was the first time in living memory that this particular ceremony was held in Petersburg.
The guests sat at tables on either side of an aisle lined by cedar boughs. At the back of the gym, there was a feast of local dishes including salmon, halibut, moose, herring eggs, gumboots and beach asparagus. At the front, there was a large painted screen of the two Tlingit moieties, Eagle and Raven, with the solstice sun. The image was created by the mother of the three grooms, Brenda Louise, and painted by her daughter Clara Sallenbach. Down the aisle and in front of Raven and Eagle, the regalia-clad wedding parties drummed, sang, and danced before a crowd of loved-ones and well-wishers. Louise welcomed the witnesses and narrated each part of the event, which was open to the whole community. Matt Lichtenstein compiled some excerpts of sound from the ceremony
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