The culture of Eritrea is the collective cultural heritage of the various populations native to Eritrea.
The Afar, also known as the Danakil, Adali, and Odali are an ethnic Cushitic people inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They primarily live in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, as well as the entire southern part of Eritrea
The Bilen are a Cushitic ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. They are primarily concentrated in central Eritrea, in and around the city of Keren and further south toward Asmara, the nation’s capital.
The Hedareb or T’bdawe are one of the nine ethnolinguistic groups in Eritrea. They are a Beni-Amer division, a subgroup of the Beja.
The Kunama are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting Eritrea and Ethiopia. Although they are one of the smallest populations in Eritrea, constituting only 2% of the population, 80% of Kunama live in the country.
The Nara are an ethnic group inhabiting southwestern Eritrea. The society is divided into four subtribes, who traditionally were animist but now follow Islam. They are mostly subsistence farmers.
Rashaayda or Bani Rashid is a tribe of ethnic Bedouin Arabs descending from Banu Abs native to the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. They currently inhabit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Palestine, Jordan, Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, and Tunisia.
The Saho are an ethnic Cushitic peoples inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They are principally concentrated in Eritrea, with some also living in adjacent parts of Ethiopia. They speak Saho as a mother tongue, which belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family and is closely related to Afar.
The Tigre people are an ethnic group indigenous to Eritrea. They mainly inhabit the highlands of Eritrea and the Sudanese states of Kassala and Red Sea. They are closely related to the Tigrayans and Beja. The Tigre speak the Tigre language, which belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family.
The largest ethnic group are the Tigrigna, a Semitic people who make up 55% of the total population. Tigrigna, Tigre, and Arabic are the three official languages in Eritrea. Tigrigna is spoken by about half of the population. The next largest group are the Tigre, nomadic pastoralists of the northwest with cultural ties to Sudan.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Eritrea, but cycling is the sport in which Eritreans have had the most international success. For the past decade, Eritrean cyclists have dominated African cycling championships and various tours held on the continent. The Tour of Eritrea is a multistage bicycle race conducted annually that showcases much of the country. There are several Eritrean cyclists on European and Asian professional teams. In 2015, Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first cyclist from an African team to wear the prestigious polka dot (“King of the Mountains”) jersey at the Tour de France. Teen sensation Alexander Isaac, who plays for Real Sociedad in the Spanish league La Liga, is a fast-rising star in European soccer.
Zersenay Tadese became the first-ever Olympic medalist for Eritrea in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Since then, he went to win four world cross country championship medals and held the half-marathon world record from 2010 to 2018.
Eritrean music can be categorized into three general genres: traditional, revolutionary, and modern. Each genre has played a pivotal role in shaping and mobilizing the society. Each ethnic group has a unique traditional music and dance. The revolutionary songs were mostly inspired during the armed struggle for independence,but even with the new generation patriotic songs are equally as important. Modern Eritrean music has roots in the 1960s and has produced artists that have had a major influence in the region.