The Ever Amusing Tanzanian Art from the African World

Tanzanian art is a remarkably amazing African art that deals in a peculiar manner with the sculptures of Makonde tribe. Originally, the tribe resided in the sector of the marvelous stream named Rovuma. Through thorough researches it has been declared that the river is the point of interception between Tanzania and Mozambique. As we all know, carving is a long lasting tradition that has its own impact throughout the world. Particularly, the fascination in the African art forces majority of the carvers to migrate to Dar es Salaam area. The eruption of the original abstract paintings portraying ghost and devil like sculptures which are in return replaced by a simple form of tourist sculpture adjusting to the sight of Africa many tourist come to visit.

TingaTinga – coming from Tanzania

The uniquely provocative name “Tingatinga” comes from Tanzania, meaning its homeland. This influential and high spirited country is located in east Africa under the equator and border of Kenya. The most noteworthy factor here is that Tanzania is greatly famous for tourism. The tourist destines their journey because of the incredible wildlife (creating suspicion in people s mind as they take it something out of this world or from another planet). Surprisingly, Tanzania is well known for the popular and largest African mountain named Kilimanjaro and the remarkable island of Zanzibar where the birth of Fred Mercury took place. Importantly, the amazing fact about this legendary country cannot be missed, which says that it’s the harmonious and peaceful country with great cultural dissimilarities. It also owns a lot of artistic talent leading to the famous art sculptures in Makonde designed from ebony tree.

Identification of TingaTinga

Basically, the name of handicraft items and art works is Tingatinga. These are constructed in the cooperation of Tingatinga based in Tanzania known as TACS. This cooperative was constituted in 1990 by relatives of Edward Tingatinga. He was a famous artisan brought into existence around 1936 in south Tanzania. In 1968, he initiated his skills as passion by painting colorful sculptures which turned out to be a great achievement admired among expatriated in Tanzania. Edward Tingatinga death took place in 1972. Talking about the current modern era, this antiquely fashionable style has won the hearts of people even outside the gang of Tingatinga.

Major Characteristics of Tingatinga Paintings

1. Where Exactly the Magic of Tingatinga is coming from?

The significance and magic of this pleasing yet uproarious paintings is extended everywhere in Tanzania. This wonder is enchantingly depicted by the paintings themselves.

2. Who is Tingatinga?

One will be amazed to know that the person who succeeded Tingatinga is still alive and indulged into painting as well. The name of this renowned person is Daudi Tingatinga also spoken as Tingatinga. As a matter of fact, he started painting in 1968 and majority of the outstanding painters are a part of the noble family of Mr. Tingatinga.

3. Unique Style with High Quality Achieved by Using Enamel Colors

The most appealing aspect of Tingatinga art and undoubtedly, the most attractive one is that the paintings are filled with enamel colors. With the absence of enamel colors, the paintings are impossible. Enamel colors possess the tempting feature of the volatile spirit of turpentine which is delightfully aromatic. Those are basically not considered as art colors but industrial colors.

4. Beautifully Designed Patterns

Whatever the main objective is, still you will come across some even features in almost every other Tingatinga painting. The mystery of these paintings lies in the secret revealing its beautification and uniqueness because of the intricate dots. For instance, the painting here;


The most illustrious of all the animals is guinea fowl as it contains many dots on its feathers. The second famed animal in the rank is leopard, mentioned in the above painting. The repetition of the dotted patterns is done to give a catchy, classy appearance of the Tingatinga paintings.

5. The Strengthened Roots of Tingatinga Art

That’s something inquisitively related to mysticism. In utter bafflement, the question arises, why Tingatinga art is so widely spread specifically in Tanzania? It is also referred to as tourist art. The qualities mentioned about this form of Tanzanian art reminds of Paris which is known as the city of art. Just like the Tanzanian civilization, that city is also painted with attractively magnetic and dainty pictures all around striking the eye directly. Many tourists, from different part of the world visit this place very frequently but that still does not answer my desired question. On contrary to Tanzania, tourists are flooded in Kenya as well but there is absolutely no presence of Tingatinga art. The only factor is the deep roots of the well proportioned paintings in south Tanzania seen on hut walls. South Tanzania is actually the home of Tingatinga painters. It can also be determined, with a hint of uncertainty though that the excessive amounts (around 1000) of rock paintings are successors of Tingatinga paintings. After all, the fact can never be denied about the Edward Tingatinga that his birth is flooded with rocks.

Step Towards Recreational Development in Tanzania


Appreciably, a well formulated program entitled with “Children Agenda Tanzania” has been developed that engulfs the art present in Tanzania. Definitely, to run the acquired program one needs interns and volunteers to aid them in the program consultancies and implementations. The best part here is that the organization welcomes and encourages interns from any part of the existing world. as we all know, sectors regarding education, social work, adult education, arts and music, social media and HIV/AIDS awareness have settled offices all around. People from these fields visit this art in Tanzania development as a great support. It has their reservations in Dar es salaam, Kilimanjaro, Masai, Zanzibar and Serengeti. The organization is funded by the fees volunteers pay and they are helpful enough for the investments in long term projects which include various interesting experiences such as the art and music project, building of youth center, HIV/AIDS clinic and primary school or nursery in Masai land. Without any reluctance, you can conveniently participate in this prestigious program by planning your trips through Art in Tanzania. That would be an unbelievably remarkable experience of a lifetime, providing funds to the local community of Tanzania and nevertheless, you won’t return disappointed.

About the author

Arlene is a passionate art lover, with interests including researching famous historic painters, oil paintings, wall arts, and doodling around with colors!

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