Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Beauty of Bajau - Proud of My Culture

The Bajau, (also written as Badjao, Badjaw or Badjau) are an indigenous ethnic group the Philippines and in parts of Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak. Although the majority of the Bajau live in the Philippines, due to unrest in their native Sulu Archipelago, in the southern part of the country, many Bajau had migrated to neighbouring Malaysia over the course of 40 years, where currently they are the second largest ethnic group in the state of Sabah, making up 13.4%[1] of the total population. They were sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Samadilaut and Jama Mapun peoples of the Southern Philippines. The Bajau of Indonesia live primarily on the islands and in the coastal districts of Sulawesi. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in trepang.

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