The tausugs dominate the Sulu Archipelago. They are referred to as ‘people of the current’, reflective of their close ties to the sea. They are known for their bravery, independence, and love for adventure. They are also an extremely proud people are also shrewd traders and excellent sailors and fighters. Protecting the family name is very important to the Tausugs that they would never tarnish their family honor with cowardice.

The Tausugs were among the first Filipinos to embrace Islam as a religion and a way of life.Their traditional religio-political structure is the sultanate. The sultan is the head of all ranks within the sultanate. Succession is by election by his staff although patrilineal succession is the ideal.

Sultanate of Sulu

Tausug HouseThe typical Tausug house is made of bamboo and lumber. It has a sala, a rectangular room beneath a thatched roof. Some houses showcase elaborate woodcarving , and have slits instead of windows. This is both for protection and to keep its young maidens from view. They are fond of inviting many guests to their parties thus their sala is filled with thick mattresses and mats covered with colorful cloths, that are laid at the floor and large pillows placed against the wall.

Tausug House

Arts (Burda)The Tausugs are also a very artistic. Their traditional dress, jewelry, weapons, brass artifacts, music, dance and architecture, mirror their rich cultural heritage The handicrafts of Sulu mirror Islamic and Indonesian influences. Skilled artisans make boats, bladed weapons, bronze and brassware, pis cloth, embroidered textiles, shellcraft, traditional house carvings, and carved wooden grave markers. Jewelry is a measure of wealth, and is fashioned by Tausug goldsmiths using the simplest of tools to produce the most intricate and delicate pieces.

Art Burga

Tausug Dance (Pangalay)The Pangalay is popular festival dance in Sulu, it is performed in wedding celebrations among the wealthy families. They may last for several days or even weeks depending on the financial status and agreement of both families. Dancers perform this dance to the music of the kulintangan, gabbang, and agongs during the wedding feast. Pangalay ha Agong is another traditional dance of courtship. Two Tausug warriors vie for the attention of a fair maiden using their agong (large, deep, brass gongs) to show their prowess and skill.

Tausug Dance(Pangalay)
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