‘The drum cleanses your heart’: Ida’Ina Friendship Gathering combines cultures from around the world
A celebration of culture continued Sunday at the Egan Center in Anchorage. Billed as the largest multicultural event in Alaska, the Ida’Ina Friendship Gathering brought together performers and artists from around the world.
Many Alaska Native dancers performed, including at the opening ceremony, which was accompanied by the loud, rhythmic beating of a drum.
“The drum cleanses your heart and your soul. It relaxes you, and you just walk away with a good feeling,” said Emil McCord, the executive director of the Tebughna Foundation.
He estimated at least 1,100 people turned out for both days of the event. In addition to acts based in Alaska, there were also performances from Celtic and Turkish dancers.
“A lot of people have the misconception that it’s just limited to a certain people. But it’s open to everyone,” McCord said.
There were also several booths selling handmade artwork from around the state and the globe.
“Some of these are imported from Russia and Ukraine,” said Tetyana Kowach, pointing to a selection of items she was selling in the lobby of the Egan Center.
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