The mostly muslim Tigre people extend from the western lowlands across the northern mountains to the coatal plains. Most are herders and seasonal farmers, cultivating maze, durra (sorghum) and other cereals during the rainy season befor moving with their herds and their families. Household goods, as well as sick or aging family members, are transported long distances by camel and donkey.

The Tigre have a rich oral literature of fairy tales, fables, riddles, poetry and stories of war and supernatural. They are also known for their singing and dancing, which is usually accompaanied by a drum and a mesenko (a stringed instrument, plucked like a guitar). Theirs is a highly stratified society traditionally ruled by a hereditary village leaded.