A lit kinara – celebrating each day of the 7 guiding principles during Kwanzaa Dec 26-January 1
KWANZAA – is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in gift giving and a big feast. We’d like to take this opportunity not only to celebrate it and discuss its history and its cultural significance, but also what to wear while celebrating the week long event. We’d also like to remind everyone that our once-yearly subscription discount expires on 1/1/23 and is a subscription to UoF is great gift for yourself or for that fashionista in your life.
Get $40 off a yearly, was $189/now $149. Use discount code WIN1. Click on this link to sign-up https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/
The holiday is relatively new, compared to other holidays celebrated in the U.S. Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Africana Studies at California State University, first created Kwanzaa in 1966. He created this holiday in response to the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965 as a way to bring African-Americans together as a community.
The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means first fruits, or harvest in Swahili. Celebrations often include singing and dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, African drumming, and of course, feasting.
The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
Dr. Karenga created seven guiding principles to be discussed during the week of Kwanzaa. The seven principles represent seven values of African culture that help build and reinforce community among African-Americans. Each day a different principle is discussed, and each day a candle is lit on the kinara (candleholder). On the first night, the center black candle is lit, and the principle of umoja, or unity is discussed. On the final day of Kwanzaa, families enjoy an African feast, called karamu.
What to Wear to Karamu
Have you Watched our African Textiles Series?
In early 2022 we announced our new 5-part lecture series on West African textiles created by Mina Dia-Stevens. We are thrilled to announce the launch of part three,West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth. Stay tuned in 2023 for parts 4 and 5: WestAfricanTextiles-Ivory Coast and WestAfricanTextiles-Ghana.
UoF lesson preview- West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth
UoF lesson preview – West African Textiles: Bogolanfini of Mali
UoF lesson preview – West African Textiles: Faso Dani Cloth of Burkina Faso
For more information on Africa’s burgeoning fashion industry, view our blog post OUT OF AFRICA: AFRICAN DESIGNERS ARE FINALLY ON THE FASHION MAP.
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