100% Tanzanian: this form of art was born in Dar es Salaam sixty years ago and it's still more contemporary than ever.
Tingatinga: the naive Africa of the painters of Dar es Salaam
A genre of painting born in the 1960s in Tanzania, Tingatinga is characterized by bright colors and naive subjects inspired by African nature and life. The name comes from the founder of the school, Edward Said Tingatinga, who first began to paint surreal landscapes and animals of the Savannah with bold outlines and large dreamy eyes.
Back then, supports were recycled and low-cost materials such as pressed wood, while bicycle paints were used as colors. Teaching painting to other artists for free, Edward Said Tingatinga started a school which still exists today.
The school in Dar es Salaam
In Tanzania, if you wish to paint in the Tingatinga style you enter the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society in Dar es Salaam, where experienced artists teach their art to the younger ones. Paintings are all very similar to each other, but no two are the same.
The subjects are still African landscapes dominated by Kilimanjaro and animals of the Savannah, but also portraits or life scenes set at the market or in the city, often containing details recalling relevant topics. The supports are recycled materials and fabrics, but also small and large canvases.
Tingatinga art at the Swahili Fashion Week
The idea of combining Tingatinga art with the world of fashion was developed on the occasion of the Swahili Fashion Week in December 2021.
Colorful and naïve animals were painted on some of the garments designed by Tanzanian designer Rose Minja, beneficiary of a scholarship in Italy and a mentorship sponsored by Endelea. The success on the red carpet and the enthusiasm of both Tanzanians and Italians persuaded us to launch a real collection.
Our commitment to the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society
Much loved by tourists, Tingatinga paintings are often treated as a common merchandise, as well as copied and sold outside the official circuit. This damages the name, but above all the economy, of the Tingatinga artists' cooperative, which always operates ethically, handing down the know-how for free, promoting equally the work of all artists and redistributing earnings fairly.
The clothes of the Endelea Supports Black Art capsule collection are painted by Tingatinga artist Amos Ashee Mtambala in Dar es Salaam. His work is paid fairly and for each purchase a percentage is paid to the Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society, which granted Endelea with an official certification.