The Jama Mapun (Bajau, Cagayano, Orang Cagayan, Sama Cagayan, Tao Cagayan, Sama) are a Sama-speaking people widely distributed in the area about north Borneo and southwestern Philippines. The largest concentration is in the island of Cagayan de Sulu in southwestern Sulu Sea in the province of Tawi-tawi (15,423 NSO 1990) in southern Palawan. Including the dispersed segment of the population, the national count is estimated at 22,320 (NSO 1990). Traditionally, the Jama Mapun subsistence technology is based on agriculture and maritime trading, with the cultivation of coconuts for the production of copra as a cash crop. Corn and cassava are alternative staples. Unlike most other Sama groups, the Jama Mapun are more oriented toward land.

       Settlements are nucleated along the coast but patterns tend to scatter towards the interior. Much of the consumer goods are obtained through barter of forest products and their own produce with the population centers in north Borneo. Unlike in most Philippine groups, the kinship structure displays both bilateral and unilineal features with patrilineal bias with respect to the inheritance of titles and an ancestor-focused relationship called a lungan.

       The religion is basically Islam with some syncretism, and the political structure is related to the institution of the sultanate with its religious overtones. The music and dance of the people are elaborate and are Southeast Asian in context.


Distribution of Ethnic Groups by Provinces
(Arrangement: Population count)
Total National Population 22,320
Agusan del S. 10
Basilan 89
Cavite 40
Davao del S. 11
Palawan 7,494
Romblon 61
Surigao del N. 8
Surigao del S. 90
Tawi-Tawi 14,423
Zamboanga N. 72
Zamboanga S. 22