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Interesting facts about Eritrea

Written By Admin on Apr 16, 2010 | 6:04 PM

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The following are interesting facts about Eritrea and Eritreans. To read part 2, visit here
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1) The name Nara means "Sky heaven"
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The Nara name means "sky, heaven". Their language is called "Nara
Bana", meaning "Nara talk." (1976, Marvin Lionel Bender, p.599)

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2) The name "Beni-Amir" means "Sons of Amir"
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The Beni-Amir are either regarded as a separate ethnic group or as the largest clan within the Tigre ethnic group. Their clan name of Beni Amir means "Sons of Amir" (2003, Favali, Pateman, p.28).

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3) The name Kunama means "natural"
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"The term Kunama means natural" ( 2001, Istituto italiano per l'Africa, p.575). Among the Kunama if an individual misbehaves, often people would utter that the person is not behaving the "Kunama way" (i. e, the natural way). Similarly if you request drinking water from a woman who also has beer, the woman would ask you bia Kunama benube aifa? The meaning of this stement is "do you want natural water or beer?" In these two contexts the word Kunama is used to mean natural." ( 2001, Istituto italiano per l'Africa, p.575)

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4) The name Tigrinya means "Tigre language"
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Tigre of Tigr-inya is the speaker, while the suffix -inya  in Tigrinya denotes to "language," (1996, Kjetil Tronvoll, p.30)

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5) The name Rashaida means "Refugee"
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The Rashida means "refugee" in Arabic -(1996, Kjetil Tronvoll, p.27)

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6) The name Blin (Bilen) is thought to derive from Saho, which means "Christians"
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The meaning of the word 'Bilin' also is not known. Some version of the tradition holds that it is Saho word (belen) for Christian. In fact, 'Belen' in Saho means a Christian. (Kiflemariam Hamdé, 'Absmará yunivarsiti, p.3)

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7) The name Afar means "the free"
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"Afar, meaning "the free," is the name the Danakil give themselves.." (1976, Georg Gerster, 49)

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8) The name Saho means "nomad"
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"The term “Saho” means nomad (“Saa” means animals, “hoo” means  caretaker). This is essentially a linguistic classification, as they speak a common language, the Saho. (2010, Abdulkader Saleh Mohammad, p.111)

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9) The name Dahlak means "Gates of Hell"
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Do to the forbidding climate of the Dahlak islands, it is believed to have been derived from an Arabic word, 'Dah’ala', whose translation is the “gates of hell”. (Dahalik: Mysterious Tongue of the Dahlak Islands, by Hanna Azbaha )

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10) The name of Eritrea's town Mendefera means "No one dared"
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Mendefera (literally meaning 'No One Dared') is a reference to the fierce resistance put up by the local people against Italian colonialisation.(2006, Phillips, Carillet, p. 337)

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11)The name of Eritrea's port city Massawa means "Shout loudly"
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"Most theories advanced seem to agree on the lingusitic roots of the word Massawa, which would be a Tigre word derived from the Ge'ez word Mesuwa', meaning "cry, loud call." According to one version, a fisherman from Dahlak, surpised by a storm, was thrown by the winds with his boat onto an uninhabited island that was situated very close to the mainland. Following his return to Dahlak, he described it as so small that if one shouted strong enough he could make himself heard on the other side of the island. From that point onward, the Daalakis who began to settle there called it "Massawa." The other version relates that before the causeways connecting Massawa to mainland were built (1870), when traders came to the port their caravans, they reached Gherar on the mainland, and had to shout to the boatmen on Massawa Island to come and get them and their goods to the island-town. (2009, Jonathan Miran, p. 123)

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12) The name of Eritrea's capital Asmara means "United"
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Asmara grew from four villages founded in the twelfth century AD. Originally, it is said, there were four clans living in the Asmara area on the Kebessa Plateau: the Gheza Gurtom, the Gheza Shelele, the Gheza Serenser and Gheza Asmae. Encouraged by their women, the men united the four clans and defeated the bandits who preyed on the area. After the victory, a new name was given to the place; Arbaete Asmara which literally means, in the Tigrinya language, "the four are united." Eventually Arabaete was droppped and it has been called Asmara, though there is still a zone called Arbaete Asmara. (2007, Keith Fauscett, p. 121)

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13) The word Asmara in Indonesia means "Love"
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In Indonesia the word asmara means love - (1974, Sudarsono, p.44)

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14) The name of Eritrea's city Keren means "Rocky" in Blin and "Mountain" in Tigrinya.
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"the name 'Keren' derived from two Eritrean languages Bilen and Tigrigna. The word 'Krna' in Bilen means stony or rocky, and 'keren' in Tigrigna means mountain (2007, by Denison, Paice, p.189)

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15) Eritrea after Egypt has the second highest archeological historical discoveries in Africa.
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The number of archeological sites in the country which was 45,000 previously has now increased to 80,000... Eritrea ranks second after Egypt in Africa for its rich archeological sites and historical places. (Dr. Yosief Libsekal, head of the Eritrean National Museum.)

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16) There are two Nigerian ethnic groups who live in Eritrea.
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The Hausa and Bargo Nigerian-Eritreans, who are collectively called the Tokharir, migrated to Eritrea almost a century ago. ".... the Tokharir, who arrived from Nigeria having made the pilgrimage to Mecca many centuries ago and did not have the means to get themselves home, so they stopped in Eritrea and eastern sudan and have remained there ever since. They are found in the western lowlands, especially around Tesseni, and in some areas around Keren." (2007, Denison,Paice, p.37)

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17) In the 1962 nations cup won by Ethiopia, 9 of the 11 starters of that team were Eritreans.
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Their names were: Lucian Vassalo, Tesfay Gebremedhin, Berhe Goitom (Patata), Etalo Vassalo, Kiflom Araya, Gilamichael Tesfamariam (wedi Mariano), Haile Tesfagaber, Tekle Kidane, Asmelash Berhe, Tsegay Tesfay, Negassi Gebremichael and Berhane Beyene were Eritreans who were part of the 1962 historic Ethiopian National team. (by Esseyas Fsehaye, Shabait, 2010)

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18) Many Eritrean villages in the Eritrean highlands are named after Beja place-names.
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During the Beja kingdoms of Eritrea (8th - 14 century AD) the 9th century Arab geographer Al-Ya'qubi wrote of six Beja kingdoms located in what is today Eritrea. Beja place names are found throughout the central and northern highlands of Eritrea, suggesting widespread Beja interaction with other communities (2008, Schmidt, Curtis, Teka , p. 284)

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19) Eritrea's Dahlak Islanders were the first Muslim converts in the Horn of Africa.
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Based on direct archaeological evidence, the Dahlak Islands, off the coast of Eritrea, are the oldest Muslim coummunites in the horn Africa (2003, Timothy Insoll, P.49)

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20) In Tigre and Tigrinya P-sounds occur only in foreign loan words
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"In Tigre and Tigrinya P occurs in foreign words. (1966, Tucker,Bryan, p. 595) According to Woldu (1985), /p/ does not exist in the phonology of Tigrinya, though schooled Tigrinya speakers have little difficulty in pronouncing and perceiving it. It is mostly used for Italian loanwords (pane, polizia, posta, etc.). (2008, Heine, Nurse, p.65)

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21) Most Kunama believe in their traditional god named Anna.
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"most Kunama remain pagans who believe in a supreme being called Anna." (2004, Shinn, Ofcansky, Prouty, p.245)


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22) The earliest written Tigrinya discovered dates to the 13th century in Logosadara, Eritrea.
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"An especially interesting reference was made by the Italian scholar Carlo Conti Rossini in his introduction to Mauro da Leonessa's Tigrinya Grammar, where he speaks of land contracts from Enda Abba Matta that show 'indications from the 13th century that the Tigrinya language was already formed'. He also mentions an Eritrean monk called Yeshaq who between 1403 and 1450 is said to have written in Tigrinya. What exactly constituted these 'indications' and what any such early Tigrinya material might have been is not known." (2008, Andrew Simpson, p. 227)

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23) In the early 1940s, the British wanted to turn Eritrea into a Jewish colony
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"Early on the research department had added a new dimension to the Eritrean problem by suggesting that Britain support a Jewish settlement in Eritrea. The primary purpose of creating a Jewish colony in Eritrea was to divert Jewish immigration from Palestine and thereby to relax tensions in the British dominion in Palestine itself. In support of their recommendation, the authors of these findings argued that Eritrea had a suitable climate and sufficient unexploited land to be used for Jewish colonization. (1991, Okbazghi Yohannes, p. 64)

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24) The oldest settled civilization in the horn of Africa is found in Eritrea.
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"The remains of what is thought to be the oldest settled agricultural community in Africa have been discovered on the outskirts of the Eritrean capital, Asmara, the United Nations has said." (5-22-2002, BBC )

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25) Human ancestry migrated out of Africa north along Eritrea's Red Sea coast.
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Bob walter discovered the oldest evidence of stone tools near a marine environment. Dating at 125,000 years old, the find suggest early human ancestry migrated out of Africa north along Eritrea's red sea coast (July, 2000, GeoTimes)

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26) Afar women usually don't quest courtship with a man who hasn't killed another man.
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"Afars culture emphasizes a man's strength and bravery, and prestige comes traditionally from killing one's enemy. The strinkingly beautiful Afar women will usually not consider courtship with a man who has never killed another man. They hope for a husband who wears the iron bracelet indicating that he has killed ten men." (2002, James Minahan, p.42)


For more interesting facts, visit part 2 here



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15 comments:

  1. Thanks man, this is amazing!

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  2. Thanks Hawna very interesting .

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  3. this is your best lie
    15) Eritrea after Egypt has the second highest archeological historical discoveries in Africa.kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

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  4. Donot late hatrade make you blind if you donot trust what the writer is saying pls go and to read history and prove him wrong and be subjective all I can say to you is grow up.
    may ALLAH PROTECT ERITREA FROM SUCH IGNORANT WHO SPREAD HATERED.

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  5. some people I don't know wether intentionally or not deflect the history written by historian .the best thing should they would do is read their history indetail not by saying insulting the people and our history.if is the writer is wrong why nort tell us what you know, unless otherwise don't bully your people and great writers.first study learn and grow up !! thanks for these dedicated writers tell us about the origin of our people and his history.keep it up please !!

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  6. Wow, wonderful and interesting site. Where have you been hiding, though I use to check it long time ago it was not as interesting as the new revamped one.

    Hey, editors ot producers of this site, thank you for enriching me with valuable info about Eritreana. Thanks so much. As they say I will call again and again and again.... please give me some more facts.

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  7. that's good website for Eritreans keep it up!!!!!

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  8. INTERESTING! is gud to know the meaning behind the name of all our tribes.THANKS FOR POSTING IT!!!

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  9. I was born in Eritrea and i lived there for more than 20 year.Everything is true, there is even more. Eritrea is very interesting even from an architectural point of view.

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  10. in number 6 & 14 plz teak car in N 6 U say it mean Christians" No men bilne 70% muslim & when u wont say me jast the meaning i say u also why say for afar in amharic so be far from bilen in 14 U say keren by tegrenya & bilen not like that men it is only by bilen keren & in tegrenya akran not keren so be far agen from keren & our buty bilen

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  11. you are writing in fel way about afar that is not true inposibil things you guys are writing about AFAR PEAPLE

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  12. Yes, it is great historical facts

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  13. I am deeply interested in Eritrean history and thanks to you I have come to know large historical resources which I can refer to. We eritreans have long history before Italian colonization and we need to know this to understand our roots and our nation today to be proud of citzens of our sovereign and independent Eritrea. Thank you very much for your well referenced historical records
    .

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  14. where is the Jeberty

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  15. akran is pulural of keren
    akran = mountains
    keren = mountain

    ReplyDelete

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