Jama Mapun

The Jama Mapun, also known as the Bajau Kagayan, are a small people group of about 50,000    located on a small island in the Southern Philippines. They are Sunni Muslims with no known   Christians or evangelical outreach.  Portions of the Bible have been translated into the Mapun   Sama language.

Most of the Bajau Kagayan live in well-established villages with houses that are built on stilts. The villagers fish on a daily or overnight basis, returning to the village to eat and to sleep. Historically, the Bajau were highly valued for their specialized seafaring skills.  Fishing is generally carried out by all-male crews, with women and children involved in on-shore gathering. Male occupations also 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.

Claims to religious piety and learning are an important source of individual prestige, and salip (descendants of Mohammed) are shown special honor. Variation of Islamic practices are associated with the relative status of different groups.