Tinga Tinga Painting

A unique type of art

Tinga Tinga Painting is a unique type of art originated from Tanzania (East Africa). The tourists are greatly attracted to this unique art, which is bright and beautiful, and is one of the most famous African brands. This brand was established in 1968. These paintings are mostly of birds, animals and Masai people of Africa, and bright in color.

Edward Said Tinga Tinga was the founder of this unique form of art. Said Tinga was born in born in 1932 in a village in southern Tanzania on the border of Mozambique. His parents were very poor and could not help him in developing his special skill.

Later, they moved to Tanzania with the family, seeking better opportunities. He was surprised to see the demand for art work among the tourists and he too decided to try his skill and sell his work.

African Art-TingatingaAfrican Art-Tingatinga

As he had no money to invest to create and promote his technique of art, this talented young man used bicycle paints for his paintings. Gradually his new technique became more recognized by art critics and his paintings became associated with his homeland Tanzania.

Said was a self-taught painter in his field, and he had only 4 years of primary school education. Sadly he did not live longer to see his brilliant art getting recognition for his work, as he died at the prime age of 35. Unfortunately, Said was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police in 1972.

However, before his death he had trained his family members in this special art and formed Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society in Dar es Salaam. You can check out for more details here on their website. Today these paintings use enamel paints on canvas, and Makonde sculpture, including figures, masks and 'Shetani'and the tourists buy these paintings as souvenirs to take back to their homeland.

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