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Tap-Tap: A Moving Art Gallery

The First Motor-Equipped Tap-Tap Was Released At The End Of 1939

A beautifully decorated tap-tap in Port-au-Prince

Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

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Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

Part II: $20.00

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Usually ship within 24 hours.

Tap-taps or “camionnettes” as they are called in Haiti are pick-up trucks converted into colorfully painted transit vehicles that serve as means of transportation in the capital Port-au-Prince and some provincial cities for an affordable fare.

They play an important role in the Haitian transit system to help the economy, facilitate public transportation, and promote the Haitian culture as well. It is the work of many professionals and Haitian artists such as, carpenters, electricians, painters, decorators gathered under one association called APATAH (Association Professionnelle des Artisans Tap-tap Autobus Haïtiens) in order to further develop their works and provide a better service to 80% of the population.

 

In fact, it is the artists that give to these trucks all their beauty. The kaleidoscopic artistry designed on the tap-taps' wooden and metal body attract many passengers for a cheap and worthy ride. There are also on the front and back of the tap-taps valuable messages of love, peace, and religious ones reflecting the beliefs of the Haitian people.

 

Years ago, the old tap-taps were pulled by horses until the end of 1939 when a radical change was brought in with the release of the very first motor-equipped tap-tap model nicknamed “Manman Marie” (Mother Mary), so it can carry more passengers quicker* (*broken in Creole tap-tap). This tap-tap has carried for years many people traveling between Port-au-Prince and Petit-Goave, according to a manufacturer.

 

Transformed into a moving art gallery, today tap-taps' manufacturers have become nationally and internationally known, thus encouraging the production of modern tap-taps equipped with built-in speakers, tv, air conditioning, and even a library. It is within that concept that the CEO of APATAH, Ancener Petit-Bois, organizes each year an exhibition of modern tap-taps with the partnership of Lonkeam’s Auto Design in Port-au-Prince.

 

It is also a way to bring an awareness to the evolution of tap-taps and inform passengers, drivers, and other people about the major role these gaily decorated buses have played in the Haitian public transportation. Therefore, they will better appreciate and particularly preserve this beautifully moving art gallery, as well as improving the Haitian transit system.

 

This vibrant tap-tap artistry can be seen in the DVD documentary Haiti's Hidden Treasures.

 

Last Update 01/21/14

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