Sama Grave Marker

The Sama DíLaut are sea faring people but they bury their dead in land. They mark their graves with stylized human figures that indicate the gender and age of the deceased. The grave markers of the Sama Dílaut are silent sentinels of the afterworld. Grave markers consist of an upright piece of wood called sundok. This is placed over the head of the deceased and in front of the sunduk is a raised mound of earth or sand, and a rectangular frame called the kabul that surrounds the entire site. Sea cow figures are commonly carved into wooden markers along with crocodiles, birds and human figures. Sometimes sundoks are inserted into a base formed into a sea cow, boat, box, or some other animals. These motifs are representative of the Sama belief in the transportation of the spirit to the next life.

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
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