Kunama people

The Kunama are a äthiopide ethnic group in the highlands south of Eritrea. You do with 107,000 members around 2.5 % of the population of Eritrea from (as of 2001). Their language, Kunama, belongs to the Nilo-Saharan.

They are Nilotic origin, originally all followers of a religion of nature. They now live in a Muslim environment and are also target of proselytizing attempts of the Catholic Church. About half of the Kunama still holds to its belief in nature fixed, half have already accepted Islam, others to Christianity.

The Kunama are matrilineal organized so that it is inherited from the mother to the daughter, not from father to son. The women enjoy more freedom and decision-making power than women of other ethnic groups. The Kunama are also the only group in Eritrea, which has no female circumcision.

Due to the war, but also due to the arrival and resettlement policy of the Eritrean government, the Kunama are torn from their previous settlement contexts and more mixed with the other ethnic groups, which further endangers the preservation of their culture. Depletion would be the loss of their own culture even accelerate, reduce the status of women.