The Iranun are an
ethnic groupof Mindanao, Philippinesand the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia, in 25 villages around the Kota Beludand Lahad Datudistricts; also in Kudatand Likas, Kota Kinabalu. Their current population is estimated to be around 25,000-30,000 (2006 est).
For centuries, the Illanun were regarded as the fiercest
piratesin the Malay world. It is thought that the Malay word for pirate, 'lanun', derives from the word Illanun. Originally from the area around Lake Lanaoin southern Mindanao, Illanun colonies spread from Sumatrathough the Sulu Archipelago, and the east coast of Borneo. Most Illanun are Muslim. Their language is part of the Austronesian family, and is most closely related to Maranaoof the Philippines. Its ISO code is ISO 639-3ill. Historically, the Iranun were given the exonym Illanun during the British colonial era.
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