Concept

Tausūg people

Summary
The Tausūg (Tau Sūg), are an ethnic group of the Philippines and Malaysia. A small population can also be found in the northern part of North Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Tausūg are part of the wider political identity of Muslim Filipinos of western Mindanao, the Sulu archipelago, and southern Palawan, collectively referred to as the Moro people. The Tausugs originally had an independent state known as the Sultanate of Sulu, which once exercised sovereignty over the present day provinces of Basilan, Palawan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City, North Kalimantan and the eastern part of the Malaysian state of Sabah (formerly North Borneo). They are also known in the Malay language as Suluk. "Tausug" (Tau Sūg) means "the people of the current", from the word tau which means "man" or "people" and sūg (alternatively spelled sulug) which means "[sea] currents". The term Tausūg was derived from two words tau and sūg meaning "people of the current", referring to their homelands in the Sulu Archipelago. Sūg and sulug both mean the same thing, with the former being the phonetic evolution in Sulu of the latter (the L being dropped and thus the two short U's merging into one long U). The Tausūg in Sabah refer to themselves as Tausūg but are called "Suluk" (the final "k" in Malay is a glottal stop) in official government records in Sabah. During the 13th century the Tausug people began migrating to present-day Zamboanga and the Sulu archipelago from their homelands in northeastern Mindanao. Scott (1994) mentions the origins of the Tausugs as being the descendants of ancient Butuanons and Surigaonons from the Rajahnate of Butuan, who moved south and established a spice trading port in pre-Islamic Sulu. Sultan Batarah Shah Tengah, who ruled as sultan in 1600, was said to be an actual native of Butuan. The Butuanon-Surigaonon origins of the Tausugs is suggested by the relationship of their languages, as the Butuanon, Surigaonon and Tausug languages are all grouped under the Southern sub-family of Visayan.
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