Kinara for Kwanzaa

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Kids can learn how to make a kinara craft using paper, to celebrate Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is a traditional African festival. In fact, the word kwanzaa is Swahili for “the first fruit”. Kwanzaa is a 7 day festival that begins on the 26th of December and it celebrates the ties that bind traditional African customs to the cultural history of African American and Canadians. You can make a Kinara (a seven branch candlestick) as a way of celebrating Kwanzaa. The seven branches and candles (one black, three red – on the right, three green – on the left) of the Kinara represent each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

They are:

In Swahili – Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamma, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.

In English – Unity, Self-Determination, Cooperation, Sharing, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

What You Need:

  • Red, green and yellow construction paper.
  • Glue.
  • Heavy poster paper.
  • Tissue or crepe paper – the color of fire (red, yellow, orange)

What You Do:

  1. Cut the construction paper into strips – one black, three red and three green.
  2. Make the black strip the longest and make the red and green strips go down in graduated lengths.
  3. Draw or glue a picture of the seven branch candlestick onto the poster paper.
  4. Glue the strips of paper (to represent candles) on the picture of the candlestick.
  5. Use the tissue and crepe paper to add the detail of fire burning from the candles.


Image: PS77 Brooklyn