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KWANZA

KWANZA WAS CREATED BY DR. RON KARENGA FOR BLACK AMERICANS.
IT STARTS DECEMBER 26TH AND ENDS JANUARY 1ST.
BLACK, RED, AND GREEN ARE ITS COLORS. BLACK IS FOR OUR PEOPLE
RED FOR OUR CONTINUING STRUGGLE AND GREEN FOR LAND AND HOPE.
KANZA HAS SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM, CALLED THE
NGUZO SABA.
1. UMOJA -(UNITY)- TO STRIVE FOR AND MAINTAIN UNITY IN THE FAMILY,
COMMUNITY, NATION AND RACE.
2. KUJUCHAGULIA -(SELF-DETERMINATION)- TO DEFINE
OURSELVES, NAME OURSELVES,
CREATE FOR OURSELVES AND SPEAK
FOR OURSELVES RATHER THAT TO ALLOW OTHERS
TO DO THESE THINGS FOR US.
3. UJIMA -(COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY)- TO BUILD AND
MAINTAIN OUR COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO MAKE OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS
PROBLEMS OUR PROBLEMS AND TO SOLVE THEM TOGETHER.
4. UJAMAA -(COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS)- TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN OUR
OWN STORES,
SHOPS, AND OTHER BUSINESSES AND TO PROFIT FROM THEM TOGETHER.
5. NIA -(PURPOSE)- TO MAKE OUR COLLECTIVE VOCATION THE BUILDING AN
DEVELOPING OF OUR COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO RESTORE OUR PEOPLE TO THEIR
TRADITIONAL GREATNESS.
6. KUUMBA -(CREATIVITY)- TO DO ALWAYS AS MUCH
AS WE CAN IN THE WAY WE
CAN, IN ORDER TO LEAVE OUR COMMUNITY MORE BEAUTIFUL AND BENEFICIAL
THAN WHEN WE INHERITED IT.
7. IMANI -(FAITH)- TO BELIEVE WITH ALL OUR
HEARTS IN OUR PEOPLE, OUR
PARENTS, OUR TEACHERS, OUR LEADERS AND THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND VICTORY OF OUR STRUGGLE. MM
CELEBRANTS BRING FOOD AND DRINKS TO SHARE FOR EACH DAY'S FEAST. EAC
CELEBRANT IS GREETED WITH THE WORDS "HABARI GANI" WHICH MEANS WHAT'S
THE NEWS OR WHAT'S HAPPENING. THE RESPONSE IS THAT DAY'S NQUZO SABA
PRINCIPLE.
THE HOUSE IS DECORATED WITH THE COLORS
GREEN, RED, AND BLACK. EVERYONE
GATHERS INTO A SEMICIRCLE. THE TABLE IS SET WITH THE SYMBOLS OF
KWANZA AND EACH PIECE IS EXPLAINED.
A STRAW MAT (MKEKA), THE SYMBOL
FOR OUR HISTORICAL FOUNDATION IN
TADITIONAL AFRICAN CULTURE. A CANDLEHOLDER
(KINARA), THE SYMBOL FOR OUR AFRICAN ANCESTORS. IT HOLDS SEVEN
CANDLES, (MISHUMAA), THREE RED, ONE BLACK, AND THREE GREEN ONES. TH
CANDLES REPRESENT THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES.
(MATUNDA)- TROPICAL FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND NUTS, WHICH REPRESENT THE
YIELD OF TRADITIONAL HARVEST.
EARS OF CORN WHICH REPRESENT THE NUMBER
OF CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY AND UNSHUCKED EARS OF CORN TO REPRESENT
CHILDLESS HOMES TO EXPRESS THE POTENTIAL FOR CHILDREN.
GIFTS, GIVEN ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF KWANZA, ARE MAINLY FOR CHILDREN
AND REPRESENT PARENT'S SATISFACTION
THAT THEIR CHILDREN HAVE ACHIEVED
AND GROWN IN A MANNER THAT GIVES HONOR TO THE FAMILY. THE GIFTS ARE
EXPRESSING THE HISTORY, CULTURE AND COMMITMENT
TO EDUCATION AS A LIBERATING
FORCE. MM
THE ELDERS OF THE FAMILY TAKE SEATS ON EACH SIDE OF THE KWANZA TABLE
SETTING AND THE CEREMONY BEGINS. THE
ELDERS CHARGE YOU TO REMEMBER OUR
ANCESTORS AND TO STRUGGLE FOR A NEW WORLD FOR
OUR CHILDREN. THEY POUR A LIBATION FORM THE UNITY CUP.
A LIBATION IS AN EXPRESSION OF COMMUNICATION AMONG US:
THE LIVING, OUR ANCESTORS AND OUR CHILDREN YET
TO BE BORN.
TO EXPRESS UNITY AS AN IDEAL IN BLACK
COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD,
THE ELDERS DRINK FROM THE UNITY CUP AND PASS IT TO THE
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CELEBRATION.
EACH PERSON SHOUTS "HARAMBEE" (LET'S PULL TOGETHER),
THEREBY PLEDGING THEMSELVES TO UNITY.
THE CHILDREN LIGHT A CANDLE FOR EACH
DAY OF THE CELEBRATION WHICH HAS
PASSED AND FOR THE PRESENT DAY. EACH
CELEBRANT EXPRESSES THEIR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ABOUT THE PRINCIPLE
FOR THE DAY AND HOW IT AFFECTS THEIR LIVES. MM
KWANZA WAS FOUNDED TO CELEBRATE OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, OUR
WARMTH AND LOVE, OUR INTERDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM STRUGGLE AND OUR
JOY AND STRENGTH. BECAUSE WE ARE AN AFRICAN PEOPLE. DR. KARENGA
LOOKING TO THE MOTHERLAND; BORROWED AN IDEAL; USED CREATIVITY AND
INGENUITY, AND MIXED IT WITH THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA. HE
CREATED MATUNDA YA KWANKA (KISWAHILI),
FOR FIRST FRUIT, THE CELEBRATION
COMMONLY KNOWN AS KWANZA.
KWANZA IS AN EXTENDED FAMILY CELEBRATION AND AN OCCASION FOR
STRENGTHENING FAMILY CONSCIOUSNESS AND SOLIDARITY WHILE SERVING AS A
EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR CHILDREN IN SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL MATTERS.
MUCH TIME IS SPENT REFLECTING ON THE PAST YEAR, MAKING DECISIONS
ABOUT IMPORTANT MATTERS THAT AFFECT THE FAMILY, WISHING RELATIVES A
PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AND ENJOYING FOOD, MUSIC AND GAMES.
IN THE U.S. THE FIRST FRUIT CELEBRATION, KWANZA, IS A SYMBOLIC EVENT
DURING THE FESTIVAL BLACK PEOPLE COME
TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE OUR AFRICAN
HERITAGE, TO GIVE THANKS TO OUR ANCESTORS,
TO REAFFIRM THE BELIEF THAT ELDERS SHOULD BE
RESPECTED, TO REINFORCE OUR VALUE FRAMEWORK FOR OUR CHILDREN
AND TO CELEBRATE THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF THE BLACK VALUE SYSTEM,
THE NGUZO SABA.

Submitter comment: I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN A CELEBRATION OF KWANZA LAST
YEAR AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE. SHE (MARLA PITTS), HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CELEBRATE IT WHILE ON HER VACATION IN 1975.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SYMBOLS

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 28 Holy Innocents
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F123
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00-00-1978 ; 00-00-1975

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