Creativity – Kuumba
Sixth of the Kwanzaa Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba)
Celebrated December 30th or Day 6 of the Kwanzaa Week
Dogon Symbol of Creativity
“To do always as much as we can, in the way that we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.”
In “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture” Maulana Karenga (the creator of Kwanzaa) describes creativity (kuumba) as “a commitment to being creative within the context of the national community vocation of restoring our people to their traditional greatness and thus leaving our community more beneficial and beautiful than we, i.e., each generation inherited it.”
In further describing “creativity” (kuumba), the author discusses the subject in terms of two main concepts: “creative restoration” and “Kwanzaa as creative restoration”.
Regarding “creative restoration”, Karenga describes it as an “original act or imitation of the Creator”; and as “a restorative act, also reflective of the Creator constantly pushing back the currents of chaos and decay and revitalizing and restoring the natural, spiritual and cosmic energy of the world.” Therefore, creativity means to perform acts that “leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it”. Creativity is also manifested when we attempt to “restore great works, the legacy of our ancestors, and the creative energy of the leader and nation.”
And in describing “Kwanzaa as creative restoration” he views it as a creative act of restoring African culture or “that which was in ruins or disuse” in parts of Africa and among African Americans in the United States. Through his act of creating Kwanzaa, the author has given others a means to participate in the creative restoration of African culture to those who were once denied their heritage.
Karenga ends his discussion of creativity (kuumba) by referencing the Book of Kheti (sacred wisdom of ancient Egypt) which says “Every day is a donation to eternity and even one hour is a contribution to the future.” In this hour, what will be your donation to eternity?
More information and supplies that can be used to practice and celebrate Kwanzaa can be found at the My Daily Kwanzaa Store.
Harambee! Let’s all work together!
Editor, My Daily Kwanzaa
Reference: “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture”, by Maulana Karenga, University of Sankore Press, Los Angeles, California. 1998. ISBN 0-943412-21-8.