Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Apayao in northern Luzon are home to the Bontoc. Their population is spread over 10 municipalities and 137 barrios, and each village has its own distinct dialect, some of which are Sadanga, Guinaang Bontoc, and Bayyu. Those living in the capital town of Mountain Province often speak Bontok, and many speak Ilocano as well. Bontoc comes from the word buntuk, which means mountains and refers to the people of Mountain Province.
The Bontoc tribespeople were animists who had refused conversion during the Spanish times. Both men and women traditionally covered their bodies with tattoos, although the men were only allowed to after having killed enemies in inter-tribal conflicts. Women wear bright red hand-woven skirts, and used distinctive pieces of snake skeleton as hairpieces. Today, many of the Bontoc cultures and traditions are rarely practiced and slowly disappearing.