People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in Philippines

Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in Philippines map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
51,000 Mapun Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No   

Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in Philippines

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The term Bajau is applied to a variety of predominantly maritime peoples. Their scattered settlements are found across Southeast Asia from the Philippines, through eastern and northern Borneo; and from Sulawesi and the Little Sunda Islands of Indonesia, to the Mergui Archipelago off southern Myanmar. Today, only a small number of the Bajau are boat dwellers, and their numbers have declined rapidly during the last century.

The origin of the Bajau is not certain. Some say they came from Sumatra; others say they came from the South Pacific Islands. They are closely related to the various Sama peoples of the Philippines and Malaysia. Historically, they have lacked overall political cohesion, and primary loyalties are generally towards the smaller sub-groups.

All the Bajau peoples speak a variety of Sama-Bajau. The Bajau Kagayan of the Philippines speak Mapun Sama, which is quite similar to Central Sama. Many also speak Tausug.

What are their lives like?
Most of the Bajau Kagayan live in well-established villages with houses that are built on stilts. The villagers fish, mostly in all male crews, on a daily or overnight basis, returning to the village to eat and to sleep. Such settlements generally consist of densely clustered houses built in close association with the forests, where village members find seasonal employment cutting thatch or wood. Houses usually consist of a single room, raised on stilts one to two meters above the ground or high-water mark. Most have open porches or platforms on the front, which serve as common work areas. Kitchens are usually built on the back sides of the houses.

Each household has an acknowledged head, who is usually a man. He is the house owner and still actively engaged in making a living. Household spokesmen and other core members of the village cluster are often related. The most obvious ties are those of married sisters.

For many of the Bajau, fishing is the primary source of livelihood. Trade also occupies a central place in the Bajau economy, and historically, the Bajau were highly valued for their specialized seafaring skills.

Except for nomadic groups of boat dwellers, fishing is carried out by all male crews, with women and children involved in inshore gathering. Male occupations include blacksmiths, boat builders, and inter-island merchants. Women often market pottery or work as weavers. Both men and women participate in the farm work.

Among the Bajau Kagayan, marriage is either arranged by the parents or initiated by elopement or abduction. Divorce often occurs during the first two or three years of marriage, and remarriage is relatively easy for both partners. After that, divorce tends to be infrequent. Following marriage, a couple is expected to set up a separate household within two or three years. New houses are generally built close to the family of the bride.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, slave raiding was characteristic of most areas of Bajau settlement, and local populations absorbed large numbers of slaves. Many of these slaves eventually gained their freedom, with some of them rising to positions of prominence and wealth.

What are their beliefs?
The Bajau Kagayan are Sunni Muslims of the Shafiite branch. Claims to religious piety and learning are an important source of individual prestige, and salip (descendants of Mohammed) are shown special honor. Variations of Islamic practices are associated with the relative status of different groups.

Every parish is served by a set of mosque officials. These include an imam, who leads members in prayer; a bilal, who performs the call to prayer; and a hatib, who gives the Friday mosque reading.

What are their needs?
Few Christian resources exist to reach the Bajau Kagayan. Only prayerful intercession can break the chains that have kept the Bajau Kagayan bound.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to work among the Bajau Kagayan of the Philippines.
* Ask the Lord to soften their hearts so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray for the effective use of the Jesus film among the Bajau Kagayan.
* Ask the Lord to establish strong local churches among the Bajau Kagayan.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.

View Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-06-10
  Submit Update:
Country: Philippines
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Muslim Mindinao autonomous region, Tawi-Tawi, Cagayan de Sulu (Mapun) island.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
Submit Map:
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan
People Name General: Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan
Alternate People Names:
BajauJama Mapun
ROP3 Code: 100800
Joshua Project People ID: 10584
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 51,000
Population all Countries: 68,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Filipino, Muslim
People Name General: Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan
Ethnic Code: MSY44z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Mapun (51,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): sjm    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam100.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1978-1998
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Mapun
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in Philippines

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Filipino, Muslim     Asia, Southeast    
      Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan Philippines    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Jama Mapun, Bajau Kagayan in Philippines          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Mapun  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: