I. Cultural Analysis of Tausug
Culture is the social heritage which the individual receives from the group; a system of behaviour shared by members of society. The Tausug or “people of the current” classify themselves loosely as tau higad, tau gimba or tau pu. The tau higad are those living in coastal areas and consider themselves as “more advanced and civilized” than the tau gimba, who live in the regions far from the sea and centers of population and the tau pu, who are living on the islands nearby. Higad means side and also refers to a settlement near the shore. Pu means island while gimba means hinterland. *Material Culture
The Tausugs have a culture distinct in itself, a way of life which survived and flourished despite the Spaniards’ punitive actions aimed at subjugation. The Americans, with their policy of attraction, did not alter much the Tausug culture. And now the attempts of the government to bring the minorities, the Tausugs among them, into the mainstream of national culture are making the Tausugs even more conscious of preserving their identity. This identity is best seen in the material culture which the Tausugs possess today. *Characteristic of the Culture
Cumulatuve. Tausug have cultural traditions and knowledge that is stored and passed on from one generation to the next and new knowledge is constantly being added to the existing stock while information which is no longer useful is slowly discarded. *Culture as a system of Norms
The Tausugs love to be together despite the fact that in the hinterlands the houses are situated far apart. The reasons for gathering together may vary, but always the occasion is an event in man’s life cycle – birth, baptism, circumcision, marriage, death – that is made significant through some religious rites. Thus, in the seventh month of a woman’s pregnancy, a celebration is held to insure safe delivery. Another cause for a celebration is the completion of the lessons on the Koran.
For Tausug’s leadership and authority, they call their leader “sultanate.” He had an overall territorial and political power upon the whole of Sulu Archipelago, Basilan, the southern tip of Palawan with the neighboring islands and North Borneo. Prior to this, the organized communities in Jolo and the whole Sulu Archipelago were each under the rule of independent datus. They are united in common allegiance only under the Sultanate when this institution was establsihed. Tausug relationships are traced generationally and bilaterally. They have two kind of Kinship relationship: The Usba and The Waris. There is among the Tausugs the practice of sealing a friendship into a much stronger bond of brotherhood through the rite called pagsapa. One of the stages of life in the Tausug is marriage. Marriage among the Tausug is for extending kinship relation and for love and sexual satisfaction as well. Originally, love or courtship among the Tausug did not happen or if it did, it was mostly a one-sided love affair (on the man’s side), for courtship is not allowed among them. Culture Pattern
1. Speech and Language
The vocabulary of Tausug is the first vocabulary that was launched in Trilingual vocabulary together with the following languages of the Philippines: Bikol language, Cebuano, Ilocano, Pangasinan, Pampango, Hilihaynon, Waray and Tagalog and is also being used by Muslim like Maranao, Tausug, Maguindanao and all other languages in the Philippines. Tausug Dialect is Bahasa Sūg, the language spoken in the Sulu Province by the Tausug in the Philippines and other parts of Asia like Malaysia and Indonesia. 2. Material Traits
a. Food Habits – Tausug Diet. When a visitor comes to the house, it is considered a form of good manners and hospitability to offer the chewing box. The box is similar to a jewelry or trinket box and maybe a brass or silver, or just a plain basket. In it are tobacco leaves, buyo leaves, and individual containers for the tagambil, betel nut and lime. The lime is usually colored by the addition of turmeric juice. The tagambil is a cube of about three-fourths of an inch and is brown in color. It is sold in almost all stores. The betel nut may be the young soft fruit of the betel palm or the mature fruit called pulla because of the color of the skin when the fruit is ripe. If the young fruit or the bunga is used, it is cut into convenient sizes, usually into our pieces. By combining just the right amount of each of the five ingredients, the Tausug can spend a morning without breakfast.
The mixture, after being chewed to a pulp, causes the saliva to turn red. So that the house will not get dirty, a portion of the floor is cut to allow the chewers to spit and put out the residue, which act they usually do with a flourish. b. Shelter – The houses of the Tausugs are made of mixed materials which are locally available, such as jati (teak) for posts, sani (the sago palm) leaves for roofing, and bamboo for walls and floor, and digpi (board). c. Dress – In the manner of dressing, the modern Tausug cannot be told apart from other Filipino groups. The Tausugs have different clothing for different occasions, ranging from the simple sambra to the sophisticated biyatawi, both of which are blouses worn by women. The sambra is a collarless blouse with a v-shaped neck, open in front, and reaching a little below the waist. The sablay is the most often worn and the most useful of the blouses, as it can be worn every day – at home, on the streets, or at parties – with only the material determining when and where it should be worn.
Considered the best and the most elegant of the Tausug garments is the biyatawi. This is a blouse with a tight fitting bodice and a flare at the waist. The sawal is a pair of loose trousers like the ones worn by the Chinese. The men wear the kantyu with a polo shirt tucked in or out. A very important item of clothing that the men wear with the kantyu is the sabitan. The sabitan is a wide belt from 3 to 4 inches wide with compartments closed by zippers. To complete the ensemble, the men have a pis. The pis or kerchief is a piece of square cloth about 30 to 36 inches on each side. The patadyong as an article of clothing of the Tausug is the most familiar. It is a piece of cloth about 2-1/2 yards long, manufactured and sold especially for the purpose. There is also a set of tight fitting trousers and tight sleeved jacket worn by the older male folks in the more rural areas. The trousers called kuput, meaning tight, like the loose sawal, also has a sambung or waist band. The jacket that goes with the tight trousers is quite short, reaching only a few inches below the waist.
The buttons are intricately crafted and reflect the skill of native silver and goldsmiths of earlier days. The Tausugs prefer rich silk and embroidered materials, brocade, glittering silver and gold lames, as well as filmy materials and laces, but since the Tausug costume is not complete without jewelry, many people wear western style of clothing every day and reserve the native costume for party wear. All taken together, the items of clothing of the Tausugs are still very much a part of their culture and will continue to be so. d. weapons – Tausug called their bolos utak. This is usually sold in one of the typical outlets of small industries. e. dances – The Tausugs are lovers of dances.
To the dancing is an art. While performing a dance, dancers pour out their emotions into graceful arm and body movements. The dances are oriental in ancestry. In dancing, the female dancers attach to their fingers long silver or golden nails. Among the native dances worthy of mention are the “Darling-Darling” which is performed by one or two pairs. The use of broken movement is predominant in this dance. Another dance is the “Pangalay” which is performed by one female dancer to the accompaniment of the kulintangan. The dance is usually seen in celebrations like Hari-Raya Puasa and weddings.
3. Religious Practices
Islam is the religion of people in Sulu and Mindanao. The Tausugs believe in Iman or Faith. The word iman is used in two different senses in the Holy Koran. Tausug’s religion is Muslim. The gospel of Muslim is the Holy Koran. Muslims believe in the divine origin of every sacred book. But in as much as all such previous revelations have been corrupted through human interpolation, the Holy Koran, the last book of Allah, came as a recapitulation of the former gospels. The Hadith (Apostle’s Tradition)
Hadith is a technical term for a tradition of what the Holy Prophet said or did. In theory the life of the individual Muslim is governed by what the Prophet Muhammad said and did; in fact by what he is reported to have said and done. 4. Government
The first appointed native governor of the province of Sulu was Datu Ombra Amilbangsa in 1935 at the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth government. He was then a member of the defunct Philippine Legislature. Datu Amilbangsa was made Sultan of Sulu after the death of Sultan Jamalul Kiram over the protest of other members of the royal families. 5. Family Organization
The accepted practice for a Tausug to have more than one wife accounts for the presence of polygynous families in the community. The two or more families who share a common male (husband and father) may live together as one household or separately as two or more nuclear families. The situation creates problems no matter what kind of arrangement is observed. The magkaluwa or co-wives must learn to get along and yet share what is due them and their children. Each must learn to co-exist and respect their husband’s visitation rights.
* Tobacco is now being overused by the people that cause bad effects for their health * Few Tausug people wear their traditional dress now
* Tausug is not visible nowadays. We only know them by the book * The materials they use for building their house is not natural unlike before they get them from forest and natural resources II. Reflection Paper
Doing this culture analysis helped me learn a lot of things not only about Tausug but the other traditions and culture they shared with other groups/ tribe in our country. It opened my mind to the things I do not personally know. Before, I only know Tausug by the book description but now I can tell even the small details about Tausug like how they dress and their way of showing hospitability. Some of their culture traditions are not implemented in our era but I know that it will always be remembered by their group and treasured as it will be their unique identity. Some of their traditions may not be visible in our era now but there are still some that remains.
As for their religion which is Muslim, I respect their values and doings though I honestly do not like their family structure where a man can have two wives. I am amazed how they build their shelter using natural resources. It symbolizes their own identity though some of the tribes in our country uses their materials as well. In conclusion, while doing this research, I have been very productive and resourceful. There are many books that can provide information that the internet may not have. There may be a lot of books that shows the way of living of Tausug but I can assure you that they are all the same because a culture is like the identity of a group that cannot be change.