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Kwanzaa Crafts

Barotse Bowl

Making bowls is a traditional craft of the Barotse tribe of Zambia -- make a Barotse bowl to hold Kwanzaa treats.

What You'll Need:

Round, shallow plastic bowl with lid



Liquid starch

Large bowl

Paper towels


Dark brown paint


Clear varnish

The Barotse people make beautiful carved wooden bowls to use in the home.

To make one for your home, tear newspaper into 1- to 2-inch-wide strips. In a large bowl, soak the strips in liquid starch for 10 minutes.

Take the lid off the plastic bowl, and turn the bowl upside down. Paste the strips one by one onto both the bowl and lid until they are entirely covered. Let this layer of newspaper dry. Add three more layers of newspaper strips, letting each layer dry before applying another. Each time you add a layer, change the direction of the strips to make the bowl strong.

Use paper towels soaked in starch to form two bird shapes. Attach the birds to the top of the lid with more starched paper towels.

Let your bowl and lid dry for a couple of days. When ready, lightly sand the edges of the bowl and lid. Paint them dark brown to resemble dark wood.

When the paint is dry, paint the bowl and lid with the varnish to seal them. These bowls make lovely gifts.

You are probably going to have a great big Kwanzaa feast with your family this year. Learn how to make a centerpiece of colorful animals with our next project, the "egg-citing" safari.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see: