Eritrean hairstyles are as diverse and colorful as the many ethnic groups that inhabit the nation. They characterize and distinguish each ethnicity and play an important role in traditional societies. Depending on the gender, certain hairstyles can even provide information about a person's beliefs, marital status and to which ceremonial occasions they are participating in.
Among women from the Tigrinya ethnic group, there are five hairstyles that are commonly found: albaso, gamme, segem, rubbo and gilbich. Albaso usually consists of seven large braids that flow back till the end extends out like a fur coat. Segem, rubbo and gilbich are similar hairstyles that have smaller braids going directly back with varying patterns. Gamme hairstyle is intended for adolescent girls who haven't married. This hairstyle usually features braids being braided to the sides and backward.
The most common hairstyles found among Tigre women are called fegiret and qedamit. These hairstyles consists of small micro-braids that run sideways and straight back to the nape of the neck. Fegiret also features seven strands of braids grouped together into two separate areas that cover the forehead slightly.
Among traditional Hidarab (Beja), Beni-Amer and some Tigre men, they style their hair in a fluffy crown like shape that have long ringlets hanging down on the sides. This type of hairstyle is known as the tiffa in the Hidareb language. Attesting to its antiquity, ancient Egyptian paintings found in tombs that date back to the 12th Dynasty show the tiffa hairstyle being present among their citizens.
During the Eritrean revolution, many freedom fighters sported a hairstyle known as jebjeb. It consisted of small to large dread-like twists that became popular among all the different male ethnolinguistic groups. When Eritrean men were seen with this hairstyle, it signified they were seasoned guerrilla fighters who were seeking independence of Eritrea.
The following images showcases a few of the common Eritrean hairstyles. If you want to remove or add a modern Eritrean hairstyle image of your own, email the editor here: MadoteEritrea@Gmail.com
|Eritrean Woman sporting the Shelil Hairstyle|
|Eritrean gal with the Fegiret hairstyle|
|Iconic Eritrean picture sporting a small Tiffa|