Dr. Maulana Karenga

Founder of Kwanzaa 1966

Learn How To Pronounce The Seven Symbols Of Kwanzaa

Click on the Musical Notes to  Hear How to Pronounce The Symbols Of Kwanzaa in Swahili.

1st Symbol of Kwanzaa


Mkeka  =  Kwanzaa Mat

This Is Symbolic of Our Tradition and History and Therefore, the Foundation on Which We Build.

2nd Symbol of Kwanzaa


Kinara  =  Kwanzaa Candle Holder

This Is Symbolic of Our Roots, Our Parent People -- Continental Africans.

3rd Symbol of Kwanzaa

Mishumaa Saba.MP3

Mishumaa Saba  =  Kwanzaa Seven Candles

These Are Symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, 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.

4th Symbol of Kwanzaa

Kikombe Cha Umoja.MP3

Kikombe Cha Umoja  =  Unity Cup

This Is Symbolic of the Foundational Principle and Practice of Unity Which Makes All Else Possible.

5th Symbol of Kwanzaa


Mazao  = The Crops

These Are Symbolic of African Harvest Celebrations and of the Rewards of Productive and Collective Labor.

6th Symbol of Kwanzaa


Muhindi   =  Corn

This Is Symbolic of Our Children and Our Future Which They Embody.

7th Symbol of Kwanzaa


Zawadi  =  Kwanzaa Gifts

These Are Symbolic of the Labor and Love of Parents and the Commitments Made and Kept by the Children. Gifts Are Given Mainly to Children, but Must Always Include a Book and a Heritage Symbol. The Book Is to Emphasize the African Value and Tradition of Learning Stressed since Ancient Egypt, and the Heritage Symbol to Reaffirm and Reinforce the African Commitment to Tradition and History.

Setting the Mkeka.MP3

Listen to Instructions on How to Set The Mkeka & Your Table Mat

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