The ethnicity's population is roughly 172,000 (according to the census of 1994). However, only 1,625 people still speak Qimant, and it is considered endangered, as most children speak Amharic; likewise, adherence to the traditional religion has dropped substantially, as most of the population has converted to Christianity. Converts often consider themselves to have become Amhara - which they see as a desirable goal.
The Qemant live along an axis stretching from Chilga to Kirakir north to Lake Tana; most remaining speakers of the language are near Aykel, about 40 miles west of Gondar. They are mainly farmers.
ReligionThe Qemant traditionally practiced a religion which is often described as "Pagan-Hebraic," combining elements from both Judaism and paganism (Zar). According to the American scholar Frederic C. Gamst, their "Hebraism is an ancient form and unaffected by Hebraic change of the past two millennia"... Read more.