Features

Annual Anacostia River Purification Procession in Photos

 

 

Procession participants at the Intersection of Good Hope RD and Martin Luther King Jr Avenue SE. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

June 16 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the annual Anacostia river purification procession.  The event is organized by the African Diaspora Ancestral Commemoration Institute (ADACI) in conjunction with Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Dancers & Drummers.

African spiritual traditions associate water as the source of all life, manifesting in expressions of health, fertility, cleansing and purification. The concept of water as a source of life and healing in mind, body, and soul is found in almost all religious practices, including Christianity, Islam, and the Bahá’í Faith which utilize water as an important symbol of purification.

Below are a series of photographs that follow procession participants from the African Heritage Dancers & Drummers Headquarters on Good Hope down to the Anacostia river.

Around the bend at Good Hope RD and MLK Avenue SE.  Note the new 11th Street local bridge in the background.  Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

The procession moving down Good Hope RD SE toward the river. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

A parade of color down Good Hope RD.  Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Commemorating the passing of Chuck Brown. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Leading the procession into the Anacostia River Park. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Ceremonial dancing leads the way. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Drumming sets the tone and rhythm for the dancers. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Walking alongside the river. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Close-up of the drummers. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Participants wearing white which symbolizes purification and healing. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Walking on stilts. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

The procession leads to the Anacostia river bank were prayers and offerings are made. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

River close-up. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Participants line-up to make their offerings. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

The purification begins. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

The prayers and offerings begin. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

Note the Navy Yard and Nationals Stadium in the background. Photo Copyright East City Art.

 

 

Phil Hutinet
Authored by: Phil Hutinet

Phil Hutinet, a third generation Capitol Hill resident, is the publisher of East City Art which he began in 2010 to document and promote the growing contemporary art movement in the eastern communities of Washington, DC. In 2012-2013, his consultancy work east of the river yielded the Anacostia Playhouse, Craig Kraft Studios, the Anacostia Arts Center and the 2012-2013 LUMEN8ANACOSTIA festivals. He currently produces EMULSION, East City Art's annual regional juried show. In 2015, he coordinated the Gateway Open Studio Tour and continues to consult on numerous regional art projects. Hutinet has been interviewed by or has made appearances on the BBC, Capital Community News, Washingtonian, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post, WOL Radio, WJLA ABC News Channel 7/Channel 8, WTOP and other local and national media.