187,000 in Eritrea (2006), increasing. Population total all countries: 194,430.
West, Gash and Setit rivers, Sudan border; Barka south of Barentu; Marda north, northeast, and east of Barentu and in Barentu; Aimara west of Barentu; Laki-Tukura south of Aimara, west of Barka; Tika south of Laki-Tukura, west of Barka.
Aymasa (Aaimasa, Aimara, Odasa), Barka (Berka), Bitama (Bitaama), Ilit (Iiliit, Iilit, Iliit), Marda, Sokodasa (Sogadas, Sogodas), Takazze-Setiit (Setiit, Setit), Tigray, Tika (Lakatakura-Tika, Tiika). 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 (Bitama), Muslim (Ilit).