The Sulu Zone


A Maritime Cultural Complex

The Sulu Zone: A Maritime Cultural Complex is a collection of essays exploring the unique facets which contribute to the identity of the Sulu Zone. With 15 peer-reviewed scholarly essays and an interview with Ric Trimillos at the end, this book dives into various subjects such as the Sulu Zone’s history and formation, its linguistic identity, and traditional forms of art, bringing to the surface a profound perspective for researchers, academics, and readers alike.  

The Sulu Zone: A Maritime Cultural Complex revisits enduring links for the conceptualisation of the Sulu Zone as a present-day cultural complex. Honouring Ric Trimillos, a leading ethnomusicologist researching and supporting the study of music and dance in the southern Philippines since 1960, this volume explores heritage, language, social, and political facets in the Southern Philippines, east Malaysian state of Sabah, east Kalimantan, Central and North Sulawesi in Indonesia, and the surrounding Sulu and Celebes seas. This project ultimately seeks to contribute to society’s understanding of the history, contemporary cultures, and rich traditions of communities within the Sulu Zone.

List of Contributors

Aesthetic Currents: The Sulu Zone Maritime Cultural Complex, an Introduction
Mayco A. Santaella

The Kenduri as Persisting Practical Islam: Community, Territoriality, and Identity among the Bajau Tempatan of Eastern Sabah
Greg Acciaioli
Fadzilah Majid Cooke

Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Sama-Bajau in Sabah and the Sulu Zone
Stephen Chia

Ayala in Zamboanga: Just Another 19th Century Township in Spanish Colonial Philippines?
Felice Noelle Rodriguez

Kumintang, Kundiman and Kulintang: Music and Islamic Connections in the Philippines
Isaac Donoso

Languages of the Sulu and Mindanao-Celebes Seas: Notes and Issues
Jason Lobel
William C. Hall

Personal Recollections of my Fieldwork in the Sulu Archipelago in 1966
Robert Garfias

Maranao Music under Siege and Ethnomusicology
Terada Yoshitaka

Signatures of Tagunggu’: Sama Dilaut Gong Music
Birgit Abels

Rhizomatic Nodes of Malantik: Dance Practices of Sulu Peoples
Desiree A. Quintero

Shared Musical Practices of the Sama and Tausug
Bernard Ellorin

Context, Process, and Identity: The Jama Mapun Gong Ensemble in the Sulu Zone and Beyond
Felicidad A. Prudente

Iranun Influence on Gong Cultures of West Coastal and Northern Sabah and Beyond
Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan

Word Music: Ilanän Raiding and Oral Memory in Pala’wan Highland Culture
Nicole Revel
with the collaboration of Deirdre Bolger

Manila’s Knowledge Hegemony of Sulu Zone Pluralities: Revisiting “Pansak (Igal or Pangalay)”
Matthew Constancio Maglana Santamaria

Magsuli-suli (talk story) with Ric Trimillos
Mayco A. Santaella
Wayland Quintero
Desiree A. Quintero
with Ricardo D. Trimillos


Desiree A Quintero is an independent scholar and teacher based in Hawai'i and New York, and former lecturer at Leeward Community College and the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai'i.

Wayland Quintero is an independent scholar, artist and former lecturer at the University of Hawai'i and Discipline Coordinator of the Filipino Studies Programme at Leeward Community College.

Mayco A Santaella is a Professor at the Department of Film and Performing Arts and Dean of the School of Arts at Sunway University.

Basic Information

Desiree A Quintero, Wayland Quintero, Mayco A Santaella
  • 978-629-7646-08-4 (Hardback)
  • 978-629-7646-10-7 (E-book)
Publication Year:
Sunway University Press
153 mm x 229 mm