The Tigre are traditionally nomadic shepherds who live mainly in Eritrea and northeastern Sudan. They are distinguished from other regional peoples by the fact that they possess hereditary slaves. Historically, most of the Tigre have been scattered between Eritrea's northern highlands and western lowlands. Descendants of the ancient Egyptians, the Tigre are generally tall and have narrow noses and brown skin. Most of the Tigre converted to Islam during the 1800s, influenced by Muslim Arab missionaries.
The Tigre in Eritrea have suffered from recent droughts, famine, and civil war. Although many are still nomads, most are semi-nomadic; others have become settled farmers. Given the chance, many of them move to wetter places.
Tigre live in several countries, but the majority are in Eritrea.
The nomadic Tigre raise cattle, goats, sheep, and camels. These animals are sold in the markets, and the earnings are used to buy essential items. The nomads do not live in villages but roam about the countryside with their herds. They live in portable round huts, usually covered with mats made of woven goat or camel hair.
The semi-nomadic Tigre usually spend half the year in the northern highlands and the other half in the western lowlands. Their villages usually have only two or three huts. Their huts are also round and are covered with mats made of woven goat hair. They also tend livestock, usually cattle and goats.
The settled Tigre farmers raise corn, sorghum, wheat, barley, legumes, and linseed. They live in villages, and their homes are usually round with cone-shaped roofs made of branches and leaves. The walls are typically made of palm mats. Most of the farmers raise goats and, occasionally, cattle. Oxen, mules, and donkeys are used as pack animals. With unpredictable amounts of rainfall and families averaging seven children, many Tigre live with much uncertainty.
The Tigre's traditional animal skin clothing has now been almost entirely replaced with commercial clothes. Their diet consists of dairy products, fruit, grain, and some slaughtered stock. The men tend the livestock while the women carry water from local water holes, build the huts, and care for the children. Tigre women like to wear jewelry, especially silver bracelets and strings of pearls. They also prefer to make their clothing from colored cloth, which is available at trading markets. Tobacco, coffee, and beer are frequent indulgences.
Tigre society is patrilineal, which means that the line of descent is traced through the males. Marriages are arranged by the parents; however, wedding customs have varied somewhat since the Tigre converted to Islam. Some of the people now adhere to Islamic customs, while others continue to follow the traditional customs. Members of a tribe usually follow the same set of rites and customs.
Although the Tigre profess to be Sunni Muslims, most of them practice folk Islam, which is a blend of Islam and ethnic beliefs. Their traditional beliefs include animal sacrifices and rain making rituals. Sacrifices of livestock or corn are offered whenever they think their sins are numerous. They believe that the sacrifice becomes the scapegoat for their sins. The Tigre also believe in an evil spirit named Zar, who possesses people and causes accidents, illnesses and sometimes death. The people depend on shamans (priests) to cure the sick, communicate with the spirits, and control events. The shamans also exorcise demons and perform services by entering into a trance.
Only a few Tigre have accepted Christ. Prayer is the key to reaching this people for Christ's Kingdom.
* Scripture Prayers for the Tigre, Eritrean in Djibouti.
Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Tigre Eritreans in Djibouti.
Pray for the Tigre Eritreans to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Tigre Eritreans to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Tigre Eritrean communities.
|Profile Source: Keith Carey|
|People Name General||Tigre, Eritrean|
|People Name in Country||Tigre, Eritrean|
|Natural Name||Eritrean Tigre|
|Population this Country||1,700|
|Population all Countries||824,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Eritrean; Khasa; Tigre Xasa; Xasa|
Primary Language: Tigre
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1902-1931)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Tigre|
|Film / Video||LUMO film of Gospels|
|General||Gospel resources links|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|