Information on the Sama

The Sama are a people group native to the southern Philippines as well as parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. Historically the Sama are known as seafarers and are quite mobile. The Badjao are a subgroup of the Sama that are renowned worldwide as the sea nomads of Southeast Asia. The Badjao traditionally live in houseboats. Traditionally other subgroups of the Sama build their homes on stilts over the ocean.

The Sama language, including the language of the Badjao and the Bajau of Malaysia is referred to as Sinama, hence the name Sinama.org. Linguists have defined four separate languages known as Sinama: Central Sinama (likened to the speech of the Siasi Sama and Badjao), Northern Sinama (likened to the speech of Sama Banguingi), Sinama Pangutaran, & Southern Sinama (likened to the speech of Sama Tawi-Tawi, Sibutu, & Sitangkai).

Historically the Sama livelihood is fishing and diving. Their fishing consists of various forms, spear fishing, hook and line fishing, and fish trapping by both nets and traps. They also were historically the dominant traders in pearls and dried fish.

Sinama.org seeks to be an ambassador for the Sama people to both the Philippines and the world while creating a social network environment that Sama can participate in increasing the sustainability of their culture.

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