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The dominant ethnic group in the Sulu archipelago because of their political and religious institutions, the Tausug occupy Jolo, Indanan, Siasi, and Patikul in Sulu (ARMM). There are also scattered settlements in Zamboanga del Sur and Cotabato, and all the way to Malaysia, which has an estimated Tausug population of more than 110,000.

Tausug is a combination of tau (person) and suug (the old name of Jolo Island). The present generation of Tausugs are believed to be descended from the different ethnic groups that had migrated to the Sulu archipelago.

The Tausug language is adopted from the vocabulary of Tagimaha, in whose locality the Sultan of Sulu lived and established Buansa, the capital of the Sultunate. 

They have two dialects: parianum and gimbahanun. Parianum is spoken by the people living along the coasts of Jolo and gimbahanun, by those living in the interior part.