A typical Sama-Bajau community with stilt houses over the coastal shallows of Tawi-Tawi.

The Sama-Bajau are originally from Sulu and have adapted a sea oriented lifestyle. Sama-Bajau is really a collective term, used to describe several closely related indigenous peoples who consider themselves a single distinct ethnic group.

In the Philippines, the Sama-Bajau are generally referred to as Badjao. Badjao is just a different pronunciation of the word Bajau, which refers to the boat-dwelling, nomadic groups of the Sama-Bajau. Today, the Badjao have almost abandoned boat living and opt to build piling houses in the coastal shallows.