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Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of African-American culture started by Black nationalist Maulana Karenga in 1966, in the midst of the civil rights movement.
The celebration has seven primary symbols. Here's what they mean, according to the Kwanzaa founder's website.
' The crops (Mazao):
Crops symbolize African harvest celebrations, and the rewards of working together toward a goal.
' The mat (Mkeka):
A woven mat, the foundation of all the other symbols, represents African American tradition and history.
' The candle holder (Kinara):
Holding seven candles, the kinara is symbolic of African Americans' roots in Africa.
' The corn (Muhindi):
Ears of corn represent children and the future.
' The unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja):
This chalice symbolizes the principle of unity, 'which makes all else possible.”
' The seven candles (Mishumaa Saba):
These represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa - unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
' The gifts (Zawadi):
Presents symbolize parents' love and labor of parents and the commitments of children.