Zemuye wrote: Needing help on personal research; I've found that there are (at least) 9 Ethnic groups throughout Eritrea. The most prominent in Mendefera seems to be Tigrinya, but I was wondering if there were any others that were also prominent in that region pre-1960?
The reason I ask is because my Mother was born in Adi Ugri in 1937 to, according to her Birth Certificate, an "Indigenous women". Her Father was Greek/Italian living in Asmara at the time. From my research, I had concluded that I therefore must be Tigrinya and Greek/Italian on my Mother's side... until I did a DNA test! But let's start there before I reveal what my DNA test found, I would like unbiased responses of the Ethnic History of that particular region first...
You are correct with your educated guess. The ethnic group predominantly living in Adi Urgi (now known as Mendefera, which means "who dares") is Tigrinya ethnic group and has been that way for a long, long time.
Archaeological evidence seems to indicate the ancestors of Tigrinya people have been living in the Eritrean highlands (including Adi Ugri/Mendefera) for at least 2,900 years.
You can read more on it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2000297.stm
Tigrinya ethnic group represent 55% of the population
Tigre ethnic group represents 30% of the population
The rest 15% are split among Saho, Afars, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara and Rashaida.