Sama-Bajau in Philippines


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Sama peoples were originally in the islands and coastal areas separating southwestern Mindanao from the northeastern islands of Sulu. They probably first began to disperse sometime in the first millennium A.D. because of expanding Chinese trade. This southward migration sped up in the fifteenth century with the founding of a Sulu sultanate and increased maritime trade. From bases, particularly on Balangingi Island, Sama slave traders carried out annual raids on coastal settlements from Luzon to the central Moluccas.


Today the Sama Bajau are dispersed throughout the greater Sulu Archipelago, which extends from Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines towards Borneo. Most are in the Philippines though a smaller number are in nearby Malaysia.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sama are a highly fragmented people without overall political unity. Some have assimilated into the Filipino culture, attending schools and working in small businesses within local cities as vendors. Christians, primarily Catholics, have reached out to help these people in the areas of health and education.


Individual Sama groups, such as the Sama Bajau, identify themselves by dialect and geographic location.


Fishing, boat building, and iron working are primarily male occupations, while weaving mats and marketing pottery are jobs for women. Both men and women engage in collecting and selling valuables from the sea, such as sea cucumbers. They are also farmers. The Sama Bajau grow rice, cassava, corn, ginger, sugar cane, bananas, and other tropical fruits.


Sama Bajau settlements consist of densely clustered houses situated along well-protected stretches of shoreline. In some places, they build their homes directly over the sea, but in other places, they locate them along the beach front. If over the water, they are connected by planks or narrow bridges. Built on stilts one to three meters above the ground or high-water mark, houses usually have one rectangular room with an attached kitchen.


Households are grouped into larger units called tumpuks (clusters), which are located near one another and are related by close kinship ties. Within the village, one household head is acknowledged as the tumpuk spokesman. In some instances, the tumpuks coincide with the parishes, whose members belong to a single mosque.


The Sama Bajau are known for their traditional dances, songs, percussion and xylophone music, dyed mats and food covers, and wood carvings. Wood carvings for graves are especially ornate.


What Are Their Beliefs?

They are an Islamic people group, following the Sunni traditions while mixing them with elements of animism. They believe that the spirits of the dead remain in the vicinity of their graves, requiring expressions of continued concern from the living. They have reported that some of these graves are the source of miracle working power.


The Sama peoples believe that during a particular month, Allah permits the souls of the dead to return to this world. To honor them, the living offer special prayers to the dead and clean the graves.


What Are Their Needs?

The Sama Bajau people need to put their faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ, rather than in the dead.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Sama Bajau people teachable and understanding hearts.


Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Sama Bajau families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.


Pray for Sama Bajau families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross.


Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Sama Bajau family leaders to experience God’s blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.


Scripture Prayers for the Sama-Bajau in Philippines.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-06-16
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-06-17
People Name General Sama-Bajau
People Name in Country Sama-Bajau
Pronunciation SAH-muh buh-JAO
Population this Country 134,000
Population all Countries 155,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 3
Alternate Names Badjaos; Sea Gypsies
People ID 18873
ROP3 Code 114778
Country Philippines
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Muslim Mindinao autonomous region, Sulu andTawi-Tawi provinces, Siasi, Tabawan, Bonggao Sitangkai, Cagayan de Sulu island; Basilan island, Maluso, Malamawi, Bohe’ Lobbong; Zamboanga del Sur Province, Rio Hondo, Batuan Lumbayaw, Taluk Sangay, Sanggali; Zamboanga del Norte Province, Olutangga; Davao City, Isla Verde, and Sasa; Cagayan de Oro; Visayas, Cebu and Tagbilaran; Palawan, Puerto Princesa; Batangas.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Philippines
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Muslim Mindinao autonomous region, Sulu andTawi-Tawi provinces, Siasi, Tabawan, Bonggao Sitangkai, Cagayan de Sulu island; Basilan island, Maluso, Malamawi, Bohe’ Lobbong; Zamboanga del Sur Province, Rio Hondo, Batuan Lumbayaw, Taluk Sangay, Sanggali; Zamboanga del Norte Province, Olutangga; Davao City, Isla Verde, and Sasa; Cagayan de Oro; Visayas, Cebu and Tagbilaran; Palawan, Puerto Princesa; Batangas..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Sama, Central (134,000 speakers)
Language Code sml   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Dilaut-badjao
Dialect Code 16236   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sama, Central (134,000 speakers)
Language Code sml   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Dilaut-badjao
Dialect Code 16236   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sama, Central

Primary Language:  Sama, Central

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1966-2008)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1987-2012)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Sama, Central
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
General Audio Bible, Scripture apps, sermons, resources in Sinama
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Sama, Central
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Sama, Central
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
30.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
65.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
Unknown
Independent
Unknown
Orthodox
Unknown
Other Christian
Unknown
Protestant
Unknown
Roman Catholic
Unknown
Photo Source Reigthzhyl Zrcn 
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more