Tintawi Charaka Kaigziabiher, born in Northern New Jersey in the late 1970's is an interdisciplinary artist, an Olorisa of Yemoja (Priest in the Lukumi tradition), a writer, and a doula. Growing up in the culturally rich New York City metro area, Tintawi's parents exposed her to various Black and Latino historians, artists, traditionalists, and writers, by taking her to lectures, and art exhibitions, and immersing her in rich cultural traditions and community events. Surrounded by self-taught artisans and strong familial personalities, she began exploring different mediums such as ballet, African dance, ceramics, photography, crochet, and writing from a young age. Her work serves as a voice and an account of the African experience in the Diaspora.
Tintawi currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband, Isatu, a scientist, and their five children. She has performed spoken word at numerous venues such as the National Black Theatre, The Apollo, and the Boston Comedy Club, early in her career. Her recent literary works, including academic essays, articles, and short stories, have been featured in newspapers and journals such as the Santa Fe Reporter, The Mistake House, and Trampset. Her latest publication is, “The Bead Griot.”
Tintawi's art is functional, wearable, and ceremonial. She is an independent artist with Vital Spaces and has showcased her most recent artwork in various exhibitions such as the Recentering Santa Fe "Social Structures" project sponsored by the Santa Fe Art Institute, “Hand Tools of Resilience at Form and Concept,” and Sounds of the Orisa at Vital Spaces. Currently, she is working on a series of ceremonial ashere (rattles) and a beading project that explores human relationships with trees and ideas of belonging.
Tintawi has an Associate of Arts in Creative Writing from Santa Fe Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Prescott College, and is currently completing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Creative Writing and African Diaspora Studies at Prescott College. Tintawi has also attended Sarah Lawrence College and Harvard Extension School.