Color Combination of the Month
by Deirdre F Woodward

This month, we know the colors of season: green, red, white, and black. But these colors signify a Western European heritage which is largely white and largely Christian. Christmas is, after all, the celebration of the birth of Christ.

December is a special month for many cultures, however, and in this month's color techniques, I want to explore the colors of another holiday: Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa appeared on the national scene about ten years ago as a African American celebration occurring around Christmas. I'm totally uneducated about this celebration and very curious to know what it is. After searching several sites on the web, I found the following information:

Kwanzaa, started in 1966 by Doctor Maulana Karenga, Professor at the California State University, Long Beach, means "first fruits of the harvest." It is celebrated from December 26 to January 1 and is a time for African-Americans to reflect on and draw strength from their African and American identities.

There are seven principles of Kwanzaa:

There are also three colors of Kwanzaa:

In addition to the colors of the flag, the colors of traditional African cloth can play an important role during Kwanzaa.

One kind of African cloth is Kente, ceremonial garb worn in Ghana. The colors and designs are lovely and would be easy to use as inspiration for Kwanzaa gifts for loved ones.

I scoured the web and found the following sites which feature examples of Kente cloth or the meaning of different colors in Kente cloth:

There are many more websites out there discussion Kente cloth; this is just a sampling.

If anyone makes anything based on these color combination, we would be delighted to feature it in a forthcoming issue of Polymer Clay Polyzine.

Happy Holidays everyone. Have a safe and happy December.

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