December 27, 2009

Kwanzaa – U.S.

This week, from December 26 to January 1, is
a celebration of universal African heritage and culture. Participants light a kinara (or candleholder), feast together, and give gifts.

The holiday was created by Ron Karenga in 1966. Karenga established symbolic colors and seven principles of African cultures (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith), and he encouraged black people in American to research and reconnect with their roots in Africa.

Design some kente cloth.
cloth is a kind of silk fabric made by sewing together woven strips. Althou
gh it is native to the country of Ghana, it has become a symbol of all of Africa, and some women dress in kaftans made of kente cloth during Kawanzaa celebrations.

To make your own kente design, cut strips of white paper and decorate each with a geometric design. Use bright markers to made the designs, according to the symbolism of the various colors:

Red - Life and Blood
Blue - Innocence

Green -Mother Africa, Mother Earth

Black - People and Unity

Gold - Strength and Fortune

Here are some more craft ideas revolving around kente strips or cloth.

Do some Kwanzaa crafts.
There are loads of ideas here.

Color a Kwanzaa page: An outline of Africa is the backdrop of several Kawanzaa symbols, including corn, kente cloth, and the kinara.

1 comment:

  1. I always wondered what Kwanzaa really was and where it came from.