Xasa Tigre in Sudan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Xasa Tigre are traditionally nomadic shepherds who live in Eritrea and northeastern Sudan. Historically, most of the Tigre have been scattered between Eritrea's northern highlands and western lowlands. They have gradually shifted into Sudan in search of water and grazing lands. The area is well-suited for their nomadic cattle production lifestyle.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since their language, Tigre, has no script of its own, most literate Tigre write in Arabic. Today, many of the Xasa Tigre continue to live as nomads, but most are semi-nomadic; others have become settled farmers. The nomadic Xasa Tigre raise cattle, goats, sheep, and camels. They sell their animals in the markets and they use their earnings to buy essential items. The nomads do not live in villages, but roam about the countryside with their herds. They live in round huts, usually covered with mats made of woven goat or camel hair.
The semi-nomadic Tigre usually spend half the year in the northern highlands and the other half in the western lowlands. Their villages usually have only two or three huts. Their huts are also round and are covered with mats made of woven goat hair. They also tend livestock, usually cattle and goats.
The settled Tigre farmers raise corn, sorghum, wheat, barley, legumes, and linseed. They live in villages and their homes are usually round with cone-shaped roofs made of branches and leaves. The walls are typically made of palm mats. Most of the farmers raise goats and occasionally cattle. Oxen, mules, and donkeys are used as pack animals.
The Xasa Tigre's traditional animal skin clothing has now been almost entirely replaced with commercial clothes. Their diet consists of dairy products, some slaughtered stock, grain, and fruit. The men tend the livestock while the women carry water from local water holes, build the huts, and care for the children. Tigre women like to wear jewelry, especially silver bracelets and strings of pearls. They also prefer to make their clothing from colored cloth, which is available at trading markets. Tobacco, coffee, and beer are frequent indulgences.
Tigre society is patrilineal, which means that the line of descent is traced through the males. Marriages are arranged by the parents; however, wedding customs have varied somewhat since the Tigre converted to Islam. Some of the people now adhere to Islamic customs, while others continue to follow the traditional customs. Members of a tribe usually follow the same set of rites and customs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Influenced by Muslim Arab missionaries, most of the Tigre converted to Islam during the 1800s. Although the Xasa Tigre profess to be Sunni Muslims, most of them practice folk Islam, which is a blend of Islam and ethnic beliefs. Their traditional beliefs include animal sacrifices and rainmaking rituals. They offer sacrifices of livestock or corn whenever they think their sins are numerous. They believe that the sacrifice becomes the scapegoat for their sins.
The Xasa Tigre also believe in an evil spirit named Zar, who possesses people and causes accidents, illnesses, and sometimes death. The people depend on shamans (priests) to cure the sick by magic, communicate with the spirit, and control events. The shamans also exorcise demons and perform services by entering into a trance.

What Are Their Needs?

There are only a few known Xasa Tigre believers in Sudan at this time. Prayer is the key to reaching these precious group with the gospel.

Prayer Points

Pray for abundant rain and a huge harvest for the Xasa Tigre people as a testimony of the Lord's love and kindness.
Pray that the Lord will thrust out workers to the Xasa Tigre people in Sudan and Chad.
Pray for Xasa Tigre aju leaders to have a thirst for the living water that only Jesus can provide.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Xasa Tigre that cannot be stopped by any effort.

Scripture Prayers for the Tigre, Xasa in Sudan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tigre, Eritrean
People Name in Country Tigre, Xasa
Natural Name Xasa Tigre
Alternate Names Eritrean; Khasa; Tigre Xasa; Xasa
Population this Country 23,000
Population all Countries 843,000
Total Countries 7
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 15482
ROP3 Code 110051
ROP25 Code 308158
ROP25 Name Tigre
Country Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Al Bahr al Ahmar state: Tokar district, between Eritrea border and Tokar.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Al Bahr al Ahmar state: Tokar district, between Eritrea border and Tokar..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.90 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Tigre (23,000 speakers)
Language Code tig   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tigre (23,000 speakers)
Language Code tig   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tigre

Primary Language:  Tigre

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1889-1981)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1902-1931)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1988)
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tigre Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Rod Waddington - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.