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Kwanzaa Activities, Recipes, and Crafts

Activities

If you are having a Kwanzaa celebration in your home, make a list of all the people you wish to invite.

Look through magazines for examples of African fabric and designs. You can follow these designs on your invitations and other decorations.

Look around the house for a special cup that you can use for the unity cup.

Start gathering dried vegetables and fruits to make up the mazao. These fruits and vegetables represent the crops of harvest, or the many good things in our lives.

Make Kwanzaa decorations; the colors of Kwanzaa are red, black, and green.

Crafts

Kwanzaa is a time when African-Americans show their creativity.

Karuma Invitations

Make invitations to the Kwanzaa feast, called karamu, which is held on the sixth day of Kwanzaa (December 31).

You will need:
9" X 12" brightly colored sheets of construction paper
scissors
green, red, and black markers
glue
examples of African designs and fabrics
beads

Directions:
1. Hold a piece of 9" X 12" construction paper vertically.
2. Fold the paper over from top to bottom.
3. Cut the paper in half from top to bottom to make two cards.
4. Cut a card for each guest you wish to invite.
5. Draw a pattern of African designs on the front half of the card. Use green, red, and black markers to color in the different designs.
6. If you wish, glue bits of fabric or beads in a pattern to the front of the cards.

Kwanzaa Gifts: Zawadi

In Africa, many things are made by hand. To celebrate this African custom gifts are exchanged. Usually zawadi are given between parents and children, but they can be given between people who share a special feeling about each other. Zawadi is not meant to cost a lot of money. Instead, the gifts are meant to celebrate the spirit of kuumba, or creativity. Kuumba means to make things with your own hands, or to think of a new way to do things.

Here are some suggestions of things you might make:

A beaded Bracelet or necklace
A mkeka for a friend (woven mat)
Write a poem about your favorite African American hero, and give it to the person you think is most like him or her.
Write a song or poem about Africa.
Draw a family tree and give it to your parents or grandparents.
Make your own African American bendera.
Make karamu cookies and wrap them up for your friends.
Write a story or make a book about someone special in your family and give it to him or her.

Make African Stationary for a Friend

Buy some red or green paper and matching envelopes.
Cut out strips of beautiful African-designed fabric.
Glue the fabric along the top, bottom, or sides of the paper.
Glue strips of fabric to the backs of the envelopes.

Recipes

Pick a Pepper Soup

A recipe from Equatorial Guinea, West Africa West African pick-a-pepper soup is a spicy mix of three kinds of peppers.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
1 pound red snapper fillet, or any white fish fillet, cut into bite-size pieces.
3 medium onions peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper seeds removed, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika pinch dried rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
2. Add all the ingredients except the oil.
3. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If broth cooks away and the soup starts to get thick and dry, add more water.
4. Add the oil and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve hot.
Serves 4.


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