Sa·mal (sä-mälʹ) n.
See Sama.

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      Muslim cultural-linguistic group of the Philippines, numbering about 360,000 in the late 20th century. They live in the southern islands of the Sulu Archipelago, southwest of Mindanao, mainly in the Tawitawi island cluster. Like other Filipino Muslims, the Samal differ markedly from the Christians, who constitute the vast majority of the country's population. Kinship solidarity is very strong, and married children often live with the parents of the wife or near them. Land is owned by the clan and controlled by local leaders known as datus. The customs of marriage and the family are Islāmic.

      The languages of all the Muslim groups are closely related to those of the central Philippines, which belong to the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages.

      The Sulu Muslims are farmers, growing rice, coconuts, fruit, cassava, and yams. Handicrafts are important; they include woodworking, metalworking, and textiles. The Samal are also boatbuilders.

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Universalium. 2010.

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