Pangutaran Sama in Philippines

The Pangutaran Sama have only been reported in Philippines
Main Language
Largest Religion
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 dispersed in the first millennium A.D. because of expanding Chinese trade. This southward migration accelerated 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.

Individual Sama groups, such as the Pangutaran Sama, identify themselves by dialect and geographic location. Their dialect is almost intelligible with those of other Sama peoples. The Pangutaran Sama people live on four small islands in the southern Philippines.

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. The Catholic Presentation Nuns sponsor Badjao children in school.

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 Pangutaran Sama grow rice, cassava, corn, ginger, sugar cane, bananas, and other tropical fruits.

Pangutaran Sama settlements comprise densely clustered houses 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 beachfront. If over the water, planks or narrow bridges connect them. 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 Pangutaran Sama 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 Pangutaran Sama people need to put their faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ rather than in dead ancestors.

Prayer Points

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

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

Pray for Pangutaran Sama 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 Pangutaran Sama family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.

Scripture Prayers for the Sama, Pangutaran in Philippines.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Sama, Pangutaran
People Name in Country Sama, Pangutaran
Natural Name Pangutaran Sama
Alternate Names Pangutaran; Sama
Population this Country 55,000
Population all Countries 55,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14295
ROP3 Code 107839
ROP25 Code 306511
ROP25 Name Pangutaran Sama
Country Philippines
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Western Mindanao, west central Sulu, Pangutaran island, west of Jolo; south Palawan, Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi.   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 Western Mindanao, west central Sulu, Pangutaran island, west of Jolo; south Palawan, Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.05 %)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.95 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Sama, Pangutaran (55,000 speakers)
Language Code slm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Sama, Pangutaran (55,000 speakers)
Language Code slm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Sama, Pangutaran

Primary Language:  Sama, Pangutaran

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1979-1986)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1994)
Bible-Complete No
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Sama, Pangutaran YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Sama, Pangutaran YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

Joshua Project logo    Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Contact Us   Copyright © 2024