Jama Mapun

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The Jama Mapun, on closer examination may not be a distinct ethnic group. The Jama Mapun are rather another Sama sub-group. Their language, called Pullun Mapun, is just a dialect of the Sama language.

The Jama mapuns inhabit the Cagayan de Sulu and Turtle (Taganak) Islands, and are also found in Southern Palawan. The word Jama is a variation of the word Sama, and denotes west, i.e., west of Jolo Island. The Jama Mapuns refer to Job Island as "East" and their own Cagayan de Sulu as "West", a concept derived from the time when the Jama Mapun had a strong client relationship with the Sultanate of Sulu centered in Job. The Jama Mapuns earn their livelihood much like the other Sama groups except that some also cultivate upland rice. The latter activity is mainly done in Southern Palawan.

The Jama Mapun tribe is often mistakenly identified as Samal or Badjao, considering the fact that they mingle with these two tribes. The only distinction of this ethnic group is that originally they occupied the overlapping jurisdiction of the sultans of Sulu and Brunei and later on mixed with the Samals and Badjaos,

The Jama Mapuns primarily engage in dry rice agriculture, copra production, and trading. In the smaller islands and islets, they engage in fishing.

Jama Mapuns are found in Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi and in southern Palawan.

Marriage among the Jama Mapuns normally involved the payment of a bride price by the groom. Marriage among the first degree cousins is common to them.

In socio-political organization, their datu personifies the secular sector while the salip represents the sacred order. They share between these the function of social control and justice.




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