All paintings bought through this website have a stamp on the back of the canvas. They are original. When you buy a Tinga Tinga painting without a stamp from other resellers (including the Tinga Tinga Cooperative, Tinga tinga Association or Tinga Tinga slipway Group) you may encounter these three situations:
PLAGIARISM - the artist reproduce a painting originally created by a famous Tinga Tinga artist and then signs with his/her own name.
FORGERY - It is a painting created with an intention to deceive. It does not need to be an exact copy of the existing painting of a famous Tinga Tinga artist. The forgery is considered as a criminal act. The forgeries have also a negative impact on the value of the art work.
POOR QUALITY MATERIAL - many times the painters mix the wheat and water to produce a basic color. This causes that the paintings crack. The basic color is costly in Tanzania. Acryclic basic colors are used. Other problems are uneven angels caused by old and erratic frames or thin canvases which are prone to damages.
Therefore Tinga Tinga Studio took steps to safe the value of your painting when you purchase it from us. We may produce a special certificate for $50. In fact, a certificate of authenticity may even substantially increase the value of your painting which is a good news especially when you decide to resell the painting in future.
Martina, the only child of the late Edward S. Tingatinga has not only the moral authority to safeguard the legacy of the Tinga Tinga movement, but also has the legal ground to use the trademark "Tinga Tinga" and the iconic symbols of the Tinga Tinga imaginary when issuing the certificates of authenticity for any Tinga Tinga painting made in Tanzania.
The trademark of her father - "Tinga Tinga" - was registered at BRELLA office in Tanzania as well as the iconic image of "The Spotted Leopard"(registered at COSOTA) which is the part of the logo and stamp.
To maintain the authority and trust in our certification program, the certificates are signed by Daniel Augusta who is not connected to any group of Tinga Tinga artists in Tanzania. Besides that, Daniel Augusta is known for his many revelation of forgeries sold at galleries around the world.
Only the original and correctly attributed paintings are certified. We do issue certificates for paintings purchased from us and may also help to authenticate the paintings of the old masters. The fee for a certificate is $50.
Edward Saidi Tingatinga was the only member of the Tinga Tinga family who lived in the city of Dar es Salaam. The main part of the Tinga Tinga family stayed in a few isolated villages in southern Tanzania. They were not aware that their relative created a new art style called Tinga Tinga.
It is therefore not surprising that when Mr.Tingatinga died in 1972, there was no one who could stop other people to imitate his designs and misuse his renowned name. His children Martina and Daudi Tingatinga were 2 and 5 years. They lived in extreme poverty, only supported by their mother's relatives who were refugees from Mozambique.
Only when the children grew up, did they make an effort to reconnect with their relatives from the Tinga Tinga family. It took 33 years before the family reunited again. Their first meeting took place in 2005. Their voice was now louder and they started to safeguard the legacy of their relative. At that time, the number of the forgeries, copies and infringements on trademarks were unparalleled.
Although the first attempts to defend the Tinga Tinga rights are traced back to 2005 when the Tinga Tinga family re-united, the first formal complaint about the phenomenal exploitation of Mr.Tingatinga's original designs were sent to the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) on 26 February 2007. A week later, on 7th March 2007, the family founded the "Tinga Tinga Family Partnership" (TTFP) and selected Thabiti Tingatinga as the chairman and Martina Tingatinga as the administrator of the Tinga Tinga copyrights and trademarks. Part of the TTFP's mission was to address the issues of the immense number of forgeries which flooded the art market, the plagiarism of the original paintings and the extraordinary exploitation of the family name.
On 7th September 2007, exactly 6 month after the initial meeting, the group went to the court to open the case against the misuse of the family's name and designs. On 18 April 2008 the Tanzanian court acknowledged the rights of Mr.Tingatinga's estate to the Tinga Tinga family. As an irony, exactly 50 days later, on 7th June 2008, a UK company paid 24 milj Tsh (cca $20.000) on behalf of BBC to someone else for the rights to the name Tinga Tinga. The name "Tinga Tinga" was registered by BBC as a part of the trademark "Tinga Tinga Tales" on 23rd December 2008.
Today, the term "Tinga Tinga" is registered as the trademark in class 16 at the Tanzanian BRELLA office. The trademark owner is Martina Tingatinga who is the daughter of Edward Saidi Tingatinga. Any organization or company wishing to use the word Tinga Tinga in commercial purpose should apply for a license permit from Martina Tingatinga. All known images of the art works which are attributed to Edward Saidi Tingatinga are registered with the COSOTA. Any publishing or commercial exploitation should be conducted under the license from Martina Tingatinga.