Tingatinga is a painting style that developed in the second half of the 20th century in the Oyster Bay area in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and later spread to most east Africa.

According to Berit Sahlström writing on art bin, the art can be defined as painting on masonite using bicycle paint. The paintings can be as small as ceramic tiles, while the biggest paintings are no doubt hanging above thousands of family room sofas.

The name is reportedly derived from Eduardo S. Tingatinga. He was born in Mozambique and in the 1960s he established an art form that became associated with his new homeland, Tanzania. Today, “Tingatinga” is the Tanzanian term for this form of art, known mostly in Tanzania, Kenya, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Indigo Arts reports Tingatinga traveled to Dar-es-Salaam in 1953 in search of work and laboured at odd jobs in the construction industry until 1961. Impressed by the ease with which western style paintings by Zairian artists sold to tourists he decided to try his hand as a painter. He however could not afford to purchase art supplies so he began with scavenged materials, painting on discarded ceiling boards using dregs of bicycle enamel, household paint and old paintbrushes.

You can read more about Tingatinga here.

Today we share with you some lovely images inspired by this style.


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Todd Schaffer


“Maasai Group” by Richard Wasike . Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Todd Schaffer


Tingatinga art by Sufiani . Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Todd Schaffer


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


by Rubuni- Tingatinga art. Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Todd Schaffer