Kwanzaa Symbol: Unity Cup/Kikombe Cha Umoja

December 14, 2012

Kwanzaa symbols make up the “Kwanzaa Set” and are essential to the Kwanzaa celebration. Kwanzaa symbols reinforce the values, concepts and themes of the Kwanzaa holiday. The symbols also are instructive, furnishing lessons and narratives which can serve as powerful illustrations in support of an enriched social, moral and intellectual development.

Symbol Five: Unity Cup/Kikombe Cha Umoja- Harmony and Togetherness

This symbol reinforces the first Kwanzaa principle, Unity/Umoja. During Kwanza, family members often drink from the unity cup as a means of displaying their commitment to fostering togetherness and harmony in the family.

Explanation: Unity is one of the foundational principles of the family and community life, with harmony and the harmonization of everyone’s voice and interest being a key factor in the practice of unity. Moreover, this symbol encourages the reinforcement of the bonds of affection which tie and tether family members to the family and a whole.

For family in general, but African Americans in particular, family togetherness is a core ingredient to restoring the family and making it an effective unity of socialization. The African proverb, “the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people,” can not be repeated enough. For without the restoration of the black family, the future for African Americans is bleak and futile. Key to their future is keeping the family together. That is why at Kwanzaa families drink from the unity cup to reinforce the bonds which tie them together.

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