This week-long celebration is held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas. It was created in 1965 by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift- giving.
Another African American Celebration feast, that is held traditionally on the 4th Sunday of the month of November, is Umoja Karamu (Unity Feast); Created by Dr. Edward Sims in 1971. http://amen-parankh.blogspot.com/2015/11/2015-umoja-karamu-unity-feast.html - This feast recognizes 5 key periods of Black History in the Americas.
Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the Black Panther poor people's empowerment movement of the 1960s and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation, study of African traditions, and Nguzo Saba, the "seven principles of African Heritage" which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy". For Karenga, a leader in the Black Panther Power movement in California, of the 1960s and 1970s, the creation of such holidays also emphasized an essential premise that "you must have a cultural revolution before any other revolution. The cultural revolution gives identity, purpose, and direction."
Kwanzaa has 7 core principles called Nguzo Saba. (The Nguzo Saba means: Principles Seven-) to guide and direct the path of liberation:
- Umoja means unity.
- Kujichagulia means self-determination.
- Ujima means collective working together.
- Ujamaa means cooperative Economics
- Nia means purpose.
- Kuumba means a handmade basket to represent creativity.
- Imani means faith, especially faith in ourselves.
Day 1 Umoja (oo-MO-jah) Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, "I am We," or "I am because We are."
Day 2 Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
Day 3 Ujima (oo-GEE-mah) Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.
Day 4 Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah) Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.
Day 5 Nia (NEE-yah) Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.
Day 6 Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.
Day 7 Imani (ee-MAH-nee) Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.
There are 7 symbols that are represented for the harvest display:
Mkeka—woven mat: Symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build
Kinara—candle holder: Symbolic of our roots, our parent people—continental Africans
Mishumaa Saba—the seven candles: Symbolic of the Nguzo Saba (7 principles), the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs
Mazao—crops: Symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor
Muhindi—corn: Symbolic of our children and our future which they embody
Kikombe cha Umoja—unity cup: Symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible
Zawadi—gifts: Symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.
Secondary Symbols and Swahili terms during Kwanzaa
I. NGUZO SABA (En-GOO-zoh Sah-BAH) Poster is on display and Symbolizes the seven principles of Kwanzaa, which were developed by Maulana Ron Karenga. The Nguzo Saba are social principles dealing with ways for us to relate to each other and rebuild our lives in our own images.
II. BENDERA YA TAIFA The Red Black and Green flag of African Unity, symbolizes the struggle of Liberation. The Red represents the blood of our ancestors; Black is for the collective color of all Black people, and Green reminds us of the land, life and new ideas we must continue to strive to obtain.
III. TAMBIKO Is the libation by which honor is given in a special way to our Creator Spirit, Neter/Neteru; Aku /Ancestors; Peret: Seeds, and Anu: Siblings- All life in the present and All newly born that we are called to carry out the struggle and the work that has begun. It clearly symbolizes the recognition of and respect for the contributions of those before us, our history and the models it offers us to emulate.
IV. HARAMBEE Symbolizes a call to unity and collective work and struggle. The word means Let's pull together!
V. HABARI GANI What's the news; what's happening Swahili term used when greeting others.
VI. KWAHERI Swahili term used as an expression of parting with good wishes and an expectancy to meet again.
At Amen Par Ankh we would like to encourage you to Practice Kwanzaa EVERYDAY!*NIA- KNOW YOUR PURPOSE! Contact Amen Par Ankh to learn more about your Destiny (Purpose), Health, Career and Relationship Readings from our Ancient Ancestors
*UMOJA- Called to Unity! Culture is Revolutionary and Unifying to a people. Speak words to life and power. Learn and speak an Afrikan Language like Swahili or your choice of Afrikan language(s) in your home and family! We speak the KMT language of our ancestors (often referred to as Egyptians) Prepare traditional foods that are healthy and memorable. We grow and prepare life giving vegetables, fruits and herbs.
*KUJICHAGULIA- At Adenike's Arts, we make handcrafted and Graphic media designs. We teach our Youth with Amen Ankh- AfRaKa KRST (African) Centered Educational materials.
*IMANI- Faith- We Pour libations to your Aku/Ancestors.We celebrate with home blessings, and ceremonies for the circle of life. Create a memorable spaces to display your Family members and their favorite things to pay tribute to their memory.
*UJIMA and KUUMBA- Grow your own foods and Make your own Products and Buy and Sell as Black owned businesses.
* UJAMAA- Remember that Eco-Nomics is a family based system. Share home cooked meals and sit down together with your family. Have books and Read about your history to one another, Gather your human capital and share your resources.
Nuta Beqsu, is a Queen Ma of many Suns, Daughters, Grand Princesses and Princes, living in the urban Kansas City Area. With a Mission to provide solutions to the cycles of violence, health disparities, poverty, and inequalities in wealth, she opened the Amen Par Ankh, a Natural Life Center, and Amen Ankh Urban Farm. This is a green space for Home Scholars, an Independent Library and Home Blessings and Notions. She is presently working with grief counseling making Dolls for mothers who have suffered loss of their children. A Teacher, Priestess, Minister, Life coach, blogger and respected public speaker and educator who has conducted several workshops at various organizations, served as a panelist and as keynote speaker at regional meetings. She has a monthly call-in or listen online- Radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amencommunications (347)989-8505. Nuta Beqsu means (heaven gives me balance) Nu, Nut, & Ta are Elemental powers of the Heavens: Nu is Moisture, and Water. Nut is the Celestial Sky goddess. She represents the cosmos and the universe. The Universe is always giving birth to new solar systems and stars. Ta is the original word for land and Kingdom. Our land is our home, and the place for the empirical existence that we are experiencing. She seeks to live in balance between the planetary and heavenly existence. We are all connected to the land, trees, microcosm and macrocosm, Inner verse and universe. Nuta Beqsu (heaven gives me balance) will be programmed into conscious spirit, to produce thought sequences to direct a course of action as way to achieve successfulness in life. Visualization is thought converted into a pleasurable visual image(s) to achieve a goal and/or purpose. We connect with Divine Power to guide and direct our pathways. As a divine name is spoken the receiver has unity of direction in life. Her name reflects her Destiny. So, the sight Sound, vision, smells and colors associated with a divine name will give guidance in her pathway. As a Minister and Director at Amen Par Ankh Ankh Amen Ankh Academy, we offer Ancestor Libation Ceremony, Consultations and Life Coaching for Destiny, Name, Health, Career and Relationships. Afrikan Wedding planning and officiate services, Home and Business Blessings, Naming, Birth Blessings, Domestic Engineering, Ascension services, Lectures, and edutainment- Storytelling, Music, Dance, Youth Outreach and economic Literacy and STEMM(science technology engineering mathematics medicine) Career introduction called You GROWW Girls- Teach a Girl, Heal a Nation GROWW means (Gaining, Resilience, Opportunity, Wellness and Wisdom) Call for your appointment: 816-304-7240 Feel free to Contact the Amen Ankh Urban Farm... email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Please like our facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/Green.Griot https://www.facebook.com/PARANKH , https://www.facebook.com/Amen.Ankh.Farm , https://www.facebook.com/Adenike.Art , https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ankh-The-Way-of-Life-Communities/140162689375565