The Sama are an indigenousethnic group of the Philippines and Malaysia. They are native to the Sulu Archipelago and can be found in large numbers throughout the Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao del Sur, and Sabah Malaysia. Sama migration outside of their native Sulu Archipelago can be attributed to escalated conflict on their native islands as well as the traditionally nomadic nature of the Sama.
Sama are Austronesians who inhabit Mindanao in the Philippines and Sabah in Malaysia. Both they and their language are closely related to the West Coast Bajau of Malaysia and the Bajau of Indonesia. The Sama tribes belong to the Muslim and/or Lumad groups with varying degrees of commitment to Islamic or Animistic belief often dependent on what degree they have adapted to settling on land from living and working on boats.
The various Sama sub-groups vary culturally, linguistically, and religiously. Religion can vary from a strict adherence to Sunni Islam, forms of folk Islam, to animistic beliefs in spirits and ancestor worship. There are a small minority of Christians.