Common Reef Fish Sinama, English, & Scientific Name Poster

Ask any Filipino to name an indigenous group known for their fishing, there is a good chance they will say the Badjao.  Sama, the group of people from the Sulu archipelago of which the Badjao (Sama Dilaut) are a subgroup, are famed fishermen, boat builders, and ocean travelers.  One challenge that exists for the Filipino education system is to engage the Sama in classrooms at an early age so that they can succeed at school.  Teaching in their mother-tongue, Sinama, is one way to do this.  It is also important to expose young learners to things that they are familiar with and that interest them.  For the Sama, how about fish, boats, & travel on the ocean?
That is the purpose for the creation and publication of this educational poster that lists the Sinama names & English names along with the scientific names for 54 different species of fish.  (Download: Full Resolution Poster [5ft x 4ft – 14.6mb])Sinama-Engish-Scientific Reef Fish Names

Both young and old enjoy looking at this poster and discussing the different fishes:  Where they have seen them? Which are tasty to eat? Where you find them? Which has poison or could prick you, which have a funny nickname.  Collecting the info for this poster was quite educational in itself.
One reason that motivated the creation and publication of this poster is that education and traditional fishing often find themselves in competition with each other.  Going to school is an investment in the future of a child, but at the same time it puts a present financial burden on the family.  In the same way those that succeed at school learn all things about the world and modern society but often at the sacrifice of the intrinsic knowledge about their own society and indigenous knowledge that they would have learned through practical apprenticeship of accompanying their father or uncles out to harvest fish from the oceans.  Incorporating the things they would be learning outside of a classroom into the classroom itself gives a Sama student the chance to continue to participate in both worlds and to easily go back and forth between both.
We hope that elementary schools, high schools and colleges could find use for this poster and we would love to hear back from you on how this poster has been used to help educate Sama at all levels of education.
Copyright information:
This poster is copyrighted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)
The majority of the pictures in the poster are copyrighted using the same license, though some are available for commercial use as well.
The two major sources of pictures are:

  1. Picture Sources: Randall. J.E., 1997. Randall’s underwater photos. Collection of almost 2,000 underwater photos (slides). Unpublished.,
  2. Various pictures found from Wikimedia Commons (

Language & Dialect: Central Sinama, Siasi Dialect (Musuꞌ)
Fish names: (In progress)
Bakukku [Harlequin Sweetlips – Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides]
Ilak [Brown chub – Kyphosus bigibbus]
Bulakka [Mesothorax hogfish – Bodianus mesothorax]
L’ppe [Painted sweetlips – Diagramma pictum]
Palig [Black surgeonfish – Acanthurus gahhm]
Pasengko [Oriental sweetlips – Plectorhinchus vittatus]
Peteg [Scriblled leatherjacket filefish – Aluterus scriptus]
P’ggot [Orange-lined triggerfish – Balistapus undulatus]
P’ggot-mangsi [Clown triggerfish – Balistoides conspicillum]
Pellok [Checkerboard wrasse – Halichoeres hortulanus]
Pipi [Palette surgeonfish – Paracanthurus hepatus]
Sulig [Deep-bodied fusilier – Caesio cuning]
Tab’llung (Bangga’-Bangga’) [Thornback cowfish – Lactoria fornasini]
Tairuk [Semi-circle angelfish – Pomacanthus semicirculatus]
Tairuk-jahura [Bicolor angelfish – Centropyge bicolor]
Tamalengkeng [Yellowspotted scorpionfish – Sebastapistes cyanostigma]
Tapog [Five-lined cardinalfish- Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus]
Tibuk [Bicolor chromis – Chromis margaritifer]
Tibuk-biyaning [Yellow chromis – Chromis analis]
Tibuk sagga’-sagga’ [Springer’s demoiselle – Chrysiptera springeri]
Tibuk ulan-ulan [Weber’s chromis – Chromis weberi]
Timbungan [Half-and-half goatfish – Parupeneus barberinoides]
T’ntong [Twoline spinecheek – Scolopsis bilineata]
Unduk-unduk [Thorny seahorse – Hippocampus histrix]

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