MKEKA (M-KAY-KAH) MAT It is the symbol of history and tradition. Tradition and history are the foundations on which a society is built. Kwanzaa symbols are placed upon the mkeka (mat). VIBUNZI (VE-BOON-ZE) EARS OF CORN Each house places on the mkeka as many vibunzi (ears of corn) as it has children. Even if the household has no children. at least one ear of corn Is placed beside the kinara to represent the potential for children. Kwanzaa serves to reinforce the relationship between parents and children because It Is with the children that our hopes for the future rest. It is the parent who must guide and instruct the child toward principles and values which strengthen the family and aid its progress. MAZAO (MAH-ZAH-OW) CROPS Represents the historical roots of Kwanzaa as a harvest of "first fruit " cerebration. Mazao represents the rewards of collective and productive labor. Since most urban dwellers do not harvest crops, Fresh fruits and vegetables are used to represent mazao in the Kwanzaa setting. MISUMAA SABA (ME-SHOO-MAAH-SAH-BAH) SEVEN CANDLES The seven candles represent the Nguzo Saba. Of the seven one is black. Three red, and three green. The black candle goes in the center with the three red on the left and the three green on the right. The black candle is lit first. Beginning with the second day the candies are lit on the left and the right alternately. The red candles represent the struggle and the green candles represent the fruitful future. The practice of lighting the red and the green candles is a statement of the fact that there can be no future until there is a struggle. Each candle lit the previous day is re-lit along with the candle of the day until the last candle has been lit on the last day of Kwanzaa. KIKOMBA CHA UMOJA (KE-KOM-BAH CHAH OO-MO-JAH) UNITY CUP The Unity Cup sybolizes the foundation principle of the Nguzu Saba, Umoia (Unity). Used to pour Tambiko (Tahm-be-ko) -Libation for Our ancestors-it is then drunk by each member of the immediate or extended family. This is a gesture of honor, praise and a commitment to continue the struggle they began. 'Kikoma filled with wine or grape juice. Held with both hands by person performing libation. Before the libation is poured, the libation statement is said (verbal statement in praise of ancestors). After statement, libation is poured and the pourer drinks from Kikomba and leads the Harambee (Ha-ram-boy) - a call to unity-in which everyone participates by chanting Harambee seven times vigorously. Harambee means "Let us all pull together." Harambee is chanted in sets of seven in honor and reinforcement of the Nguzu Saba. After Harambee Kikomba is passed to each family member, eldest to youngest. ZAWADI (ZAH-WAH-DEE) GIFTS A book and/or heritage symbol (African art or picture of African hero.) BENDARA (BEN-DA-RA) NATIONAL FLAG Red, Black, Green: represents the African People, continuing to struggle, and youth who are our future and hope.