The Abyssinian people (Ge'ez: ሐበሻይት), also known as Habesha are a people inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They include a few linguistically and culturally related ethnic groups in the Eritrean Highlands and Ethiopian Highlands. Members' cultural, linguistic, and in certain cases, ancestral origins trace back to the Kingdom of Dʿmt (usually vocalized Diʿamat) and the later Kingdom of Aksum.Scholars have classified the Amhara and Tigreans as Abyssinians proper. The Ge'ez speaking people, minimally affected by Sabean influence, formed the ethnic and cultural stock for both the pre-Axumite and Axumite states. Ge'ez, which is closely related to Tigrinya and Tigre, is also believed to be the ancestor of the diverse southern Ethiopian Semitic languages including Amharic.
Historically, the Ethiopian Semitic languages were often known among certain linguists as the Abyssinian languages. They are mainly spoken by the Amhara, the Tigray-Tigrinya, the Tigre, the Gurage, the Argobba and the Harari people. In antiquity Ge'ez-speaking people inhabited Axum empire; the ancient Semitic-speaking Gafat inhabited Eastern Damot (East Welega) and Western Shewa; the Galila clan of Aymallal (Sodo) inhabited Southwest Shewa; the Zay inhabited East Shewa; the Harla who are the ancestors of Harari leaved in Somaliland; and the other ancient Argobba and Harari inhabited Shewa, Ifat, and Adal.Together, the Amhara, Tigray and Gurage peoples constitute around 35.5% of Ethiopia's population (c. 33.6 million Amhara, 5.5 million Tigray, 1.8 million Gurage), while the Tigrinya and Tigre combined make up 85% (55% plus 30%, respectively) of Eritrea's population (c. 5 of 5.9 million). [a]