Story last updated at 10:38 AM on Thursday, September 30, 2004

Burning burdens






  Photo by Michael Armstrong, Home
 
About 75 people attended a burning basket ceremony Wednesday night at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. Mavis Muller designed the basket and project, inspired by the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nev., which she attended last month.

Made of wood and fiber, and adorned with flowers, seashells and other artifacts, Muller and several other artists started building what she called a "burden basket" last Tuesday at the end of the equinox. The four-sided basket had openings in each side for visitors to place objects of remembrance for loved ones -- such as poetry and photographs -- inside the basket. Muller led a brief ceremony before the burning, offering the basket as an honoring to the departed. As the basket was lit, Alan Phelps played "Taps" on the trumpet in memory of soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq.

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