25 Facts About Bajau people


Sama-Bajau people refers to several Austronesian ethnic groups of Maritime Southeast Asia.

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Sama-Bajau people are the dominant ethnic group of the islands of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines.

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Sama-Bajau people have sometimes been called the "Sea Gypsies" or "Sea Nomads", terms that have been used for non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia.

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The sea-going Sama-Bajau people prefer to call themselves the Sama Dilaut or Sama Mandilaut in the Philippines; in Malaysia, they identify as Bajau people Laut.

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The term Bajau people has pejorative connotations in the Philippines, indicating poverty in comparison to the term Sama, especially since it is used most commonly to refer to poverty-stricken Sama-Bajau people who make a living through begging.

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Bajau people's was found and eventually married a king or a prince of Gowa.

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Bajau people puts the date of the ethnogenesis of Sama-Bajau as 800 CE and rejects a historical connection between the Sama-Bajau and the Orang laut.

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From Zamboanga, some members of these Bajau people adopted an exclusively seaborne culture and spread outwards in the 10th century towards Basilan, Sulu, Borneo, and Sulawesi.

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Genetically, the Sama-Bajau people are highly diverse, indicating heavy admixture with the locals or even language and cultural adoption by coastal groups in the areas they settled.

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Epic poem Darangen of the Maranao people record that among the ancestors of the hero Bantugan is a Maranao prince who married a Sama-Bajau princess.

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Sama-Bajau people were first recorded by European explorers in 1521 by Antonio Pigafetta of the Magellan-Elcano expedition in what is the Zamboanga Peninsula.

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Sama-Bajau people usually served as low-ranking crewmembers of war boats, directly under the command of Iranun squadron leaders, who in turn answered to the Tausug datu of the Sultanate of Sulu.

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Boat-dwelling and shoreline Sama-Bajau people had a very low status in the caste-based Tausug Sultanate of Sulu.

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The Sama-Bajau people have been frequent victims of theft, extortion, kidnapping, and violence from the predominantly Tausug Abu Sayyaf insurgents as well as pirates.

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The ancestral roaming and fishing grounds of the Sama-Bajau people straddled the borders of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

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Sama-Bajau people fishermen are often associated with illegal and destructive practices, like blast fishing, cyanide fishing, coral mining, and cutting down mangrove trees.

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Sama-Bajau people languages were once classified under the Central Philippine languages of the Malayo-Polynesian geographic group of the Austronesian language family.

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Ancient Sama-Bajau people were animistic, and this is retained wholly or partially in some Sama-Bajau people groups.

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The supreme deities in Sama-Bajau people mythology are Umboh Tuhan and his consort, Dayang Dayang Mangilai .

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The umboh are believed to influence fishing activities, rewarding the Sama-Bajau people by granting good luck favours known as padalleang and occasionally punishing by causing serious incidents called busong.

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One important religious event among the Sama-Bajau people is the annual feast known as pag-umboh or magpaay-bahaw, an offering of thanks to Umboh Tuhan.

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Sama-Bajau people are well known for weaving, needlework skills, and their association with tagonggo music.

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In visual arts, Sama-Bajau people have an ancient tradition of carving and sculpting known as okil .

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Sama-Bajau people society is traditionally highly individualistic, and the largest political unit is the clan cluster around mooring points, rarely more.

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Sama-Bajau people society is more or less egalitarian, and they did not practice a caste system, unlike most neighboring ethnic groups.

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