There are seven essential items needed for a Kwanzaa display. These 7 symbols are:
- MKEKA (straw mat) - represents african tradition and history, the foundation of our being.
- KINARA (candle holder) - represents our ancestors, upon whose shoulders we stand.
- MSHUMAA SABA (seven candles) - represents the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba, and one is lit for each day of Kwanzaa.
- MUHINDI (ears of corn) - represents the precious gift of children. Each ear of corn is represents each child of the family or one ear of corn for children hoped for.
- ZAWADI (gift) - represents the rewards of right actions, cultural and educational gifts to reinforce personal growth and achievement.
- MAZAO (crops, cornicopia of fruit) - represents the fruits of our collective and productive labors.
- KIKOMBE CHA UMOJA (unity cup) - represents oneness of purpose.