Tinga Tinga Tanzania

Tinga Tinga Tanzania

The 'picture perfect' souvenir from Tanzania

Mridula Gandhi
July 01 , 2014
Less than 1 Min Read

You don’t have to have an eye for art to appreciate a Tinga Tinga painting. Tanzania’s primary art form, which owes its origin in the 1960s to the eponymous artist E.S. Tinga Tinga, is defined first by its cultural subtext — giving these oils-on-canvas their universal appeal — and then by its unique cartoony style and startling use of colour. From impressions of the Masai tribe to scenes of wildlife, each artwork reflects the Tanzanian way of life. Stone Town in Zanzibar is where I acquired this pair. The warren of lanes that make up the city’s old quarter is overflowing with these paintings in every size. Adding to the atmosphere are the artists sitting outside shopfronts at work on their easels, or sun-drying their freshly painted canvases. Despite the low asking price of $10-15, you shouldn’t feel guilty about haggling for half-off. I didn’t, and these together were mine for $14.

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