247,000 in Eritrea (2010 J. Leclerc), increasing. Total users in all countries: 254,570 (as L1: 254,430; as L2: 140).
Gash Barka region: mainly between Gash river and Ethiopia border; Barka south of Barentu; Marda north, northeast, and east of Barentu and in Barentu; Aimara west of Barentu.
Barka (Berka), Marda, Aymasa (Aaimasa, Aimara, Odasa), Tika (Lakatakura-Tika, Tiika), Ilit (Iiliit, Iilit, Iliit), Bitama (Bitaama), Sokodasa (Sogadas, Sogodas), Takazze-Setiit (Setiit, Setit), Tigray. Bitama and Ilit are nearly unintelligible to other Kunama dialect speakers. Barka is largest and is intelligible to speakers of all others.
SOV; postpositions; case suffixes.
Latin script [Latn], used since late 1800s.
Laka-Takura and Tika have been influenced by Arab culture and by the Beni-Amer. Traditional religion, Muslim.