Discover Tigrinya

Tigrinya (ትግርኛ) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is spoken by roughly 7 million people primarily in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Main Communities

Asmara (Eritrea), Mekelle (Ethiopia)

Tigrinya Names and Their Meanings:

  • Abrihet - She brings about the light
  • Timnit - Wish
  • Meron - Gift from God
  • Tekle - my plant
  • Haben - Pride
  • Goitom - Leader

Staple Food

Siwa(ሰዋ) - is a home-brewed traditional beer. It is made from water, a home-baked and toasted flatbread, yeast, and dried leaves. Siwa is a common drink for farmers and is also served at special events.

Culture and Traditions

Guayla - this traditional dance is commonly performed by a group of both sexes in a circle. It involves fast-paced shoulder movements while rotating in a circle. Guayla is often performed during social gatherings and celebrations as a means of cultural expression and community bonding.

Abuna Yemata Guh - One of many rock-hewn churches common in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. To enter this cliff church, visitors have to cross a natural stone bridge, perform a vertical rock climb, and manage a steep ascent. The paintings on the walls and domes of the church have been impressively preserved and feature more old testament figures than they do new testament figures.

Notable figures:

Carl Christian Reindorf – Historian. He wrote “A History of the Gold Coast and Asante” in Ga language. It was later translated into English and, to this day, is considered as culturally important work . He also contributed in writing the new Ga Bible.

Guy Warren – Musician. Also known as Guy Warren of Ghana and Kofi Ghanaba, he was passionate about reuniting African-American Jazz with its African roots. He pioneered the Afro Jazz music genre and was one of the most weel-travelled Ghanaian musicians of the 20th century.

Joselyn Dumas – Actress. She earned a Ghana Movie Award for her role in the 2014 movie "A Northern Affair" as well as an Africa Movie Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Dumas is Dumas is also a television host and producer.