THE ABORIGINAL TINGA TINGA ART

The aboriginal Tinga Tinga art was hidden to the mankind until January 2009. (see the first published photo of a decorated hut on the Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tingatinga_(painting))  It is practiced by the traditional painters from the Ndonde tribe in southern Tanzania in remote villages situated at the border of the largest game reserve in the world - Selous. Only one traditional painter reached the city Dar es Salaam in sixties in the last century. It was Edward Saidi Tingatinga. There, he started the artistic movement called Tinga Tinga, but the origin of the Tinga Tinga art was a mystery. We didn't know about the villages until 2009.
On 13th December 2015, a workshop was started in the Ngapa village. The workshop is called “Santesson”. The aim of the Santesson workshop is to teach the traditional painters to use the canvas as a medium but still to utilize the same pigments used on the hut walls - the soils, ash and charcoal. The workshop was very successful and a new style of paintings emerged - the aboriginal Tinga Tinga paintings. The paintings are now painted on the canvases which can be easily transported and reach the galleries and museums around the world. The structure of the soil is clearly visible on the canvas as if the painting was still part of a hut wall.

THE SANTESSON WORKSHOP

The aboriginal Tinga Tinga art was discovered by an accident when Daniel Augusta and Ilona Bittnerova visited the families of the Tinga Tinga painters in 2009. They stumbled upon many wall paintings visible on the hut walls in Ngapa, the home village of Tingatinga’s father. New paintings were observed during an expedition in October 2014 which was lead by an expert on the Makonde art, Miroslav Sirs. In August 2015, a research proposal was submitted to the Embassy of Switzerland which was the main sponsor the Tinga Tinga art during the last 20 years. The aim of the research was to shed light on the mural art found in the villages where the Tinga Tinga family lives. However, the research project was rejected. Instead, Kerstin and Berndt Santesson from Sweden offered to support the research project. To honor the generous support from Kerstin och Berndt, the workshop in Ngapa was named after them.

THE CATALOGUE RAISONNE

Since 13th December 2015, the founding date of the Santesson workshop, the traditional painters created about 50 new art works. The images of all aboriginal Tinga Tinga paintings from the Santesson Workshop will be published here. The list of the paintings can be considered not only as a catalogue raisonne of the individual artists, but also of the aboriginal Tinga Tinga art in respect to the paintings on canvases.

12232 Malele 80x100cm
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12235 Dula 80x100cm
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12236 Dula 80x100cm
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12237 Dula 80x100cm
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12238 Dula 80x100cm
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12239 Dula 45x45cm
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12240 Dula 45x45cm
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12241 Dula 80x100cm
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12242 Dula 80x100cm
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12243 Dula 80x100cm
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12244 Dula 80x100cm
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12257 Chaka 80x100cm
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12258 Chaka 80x100cm
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12259 Chaka 80x100cm
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12260 Chaka 80x100cm
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12261 Chaka 80x100cm
PAVEL

12262 Chaka 80x100cm
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12263 Chaka 80x100cm
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12264 Chaka 80x100cm
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12265 Chaka 80x100cm
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12266 Chaka 80x100cm
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12267 Chaka 80x100cm
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12268 Chaka 80x100cm
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12269 Chaka 80x100cm
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12270 Chaka 80x100cm
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12271 Chaka 80x100cm
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12272 Chaka 80x100cm
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12274 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12275 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12276 Mashaka 45x45cm
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12277 Mashaka 45x45cm
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12278 Mashaka 45x45cm
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12279 Mashaka 45x45cm
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12280 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12281 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12282 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12283 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12284 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12285 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12286 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12287 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12288 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12289 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12290 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12291 Mashaka 80x100cm
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12297 Chatu 80x100cm
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THE TINGA TINGA CHIEFDOM

Tinga Tinga was one of the last chiefdoms which succeeded to resist the Portuguese rule in southern Mozambique. However, in 1730 the Portuguese sent a military expedition to Tinga Tinga and killed the chief Tinga Tinga Kuambo. The Tinga Tinga chiefdom dissolved and the people searched for refugee in other parts of Mozambique.
Tinga Tinga Ndonde HutAbout 140 years later, around 1870, the name Tinga Tinga reappeared again. A man known by the name "Tinga Tinga Namoli" was born near the river Ruvuma which marks the border between Mozambique and Tanzania. He married a woman, Kawale Makojo and they got 6 children. The second child called Saidi Tinga Tinga became the father of the famous painter Edward Saidi Tingatinga, hence the Tinga Tinga art.
Edward Saidi Tingatinga was born around 1935. In literature, two different years of birth were published. The first was 1932 and the second was 1935. When he was adult, he went to Tanga to work at a sisal plantation. He worked for a few years in Tanga and later he moved to Dar e Salaam. It was around 1961. Here he started to paint with enamel colors on ceiling boards. It was around 1965.
Unfortunately, he died an police shootings in 1972 and left behind a wife and two children, Daudi and Martina. Daudi passed away in 2014 and Martina follows her father's steps in painting carrier. She also contributes to the research of the origin of Tinga Tinga art.

THE NDONDE MURAL ART AND THE TINGA TINGA PAINTINGS

Tingatinga family or clan belongs to the Ndonde tribe, one of the smallest tribes in Africa. It has only about 15.000 members. The tribe is spread in just five villages deep in the forest which borders to the biggest game reserve in Africa - Selous. The Tingatinga family comes from Ngapa. Unlike the other tribes found in the region, the Ndonde tribe decorates the walls of their huts with paintings until today.
Mzee Pundugu and Mwalimu NyerereOnly one member of this Ndonde community reached the big city Dar es Salaam and transferred the Ndonde mural tradition on ceiling boards using the enamel colors. He signed the paintings produced in the city by his Ndonde name Tingatinga. Soon people started to call these paintings as Tinga Tinga paintings. It was around 1970.

WHY WAS ORIGIN OF THE TINGA TINGA ART HIDDEN?

During his lifetime, Edward Saidi Tingatinga became a very famous artist. But on 17 May 1972, Edward Tingatinga was killed in police shootings as he was mistaken for a thief. He left behind two small children. When they grew up, they realized that the name Tingatinga was used by other artists, especially by the Mlaponi family from the Makua tribe.
And this is the reason why we never linked the origin of the Tinga Tinga art to the Ndonde mural tradition. The Mlaponi painters provided a narrative of Mr.Tingatinga's life only from the viewpoint of his maternal side of the family. Mr.Tingatinga's mother indeed belonged to the Mlaponi family from the Makua tribe which counts about 3 million people. The Mlaponi painters got a vast network and resources to advance the Tinga Tinga art as their own.
Therefore, all researchers came to look for the origin of the Tinga Tinga art within the Makua community. But they didn't find any mural paintings there. It took not less than 37 years after the death of E.S.Tingatinga, when the Ndonde mural paintings were observed and photographed. The relatives of Edward Saidi Tingatinga from the Ndonde tribe continue to paint on the hut walls deep in the forest until today.