THE PEOPLE OF BAKUN
Bakun is populated by a people speaking the Kankana-ey dialect. According to the 1975 Census there are approximately 7,942 people distributed in the seven barrios of the municipality. 4,121 of these are males, and 3,821 are females. The biggest concentration of population can be found in Gambang, Dalipay, Ampusongan and Central in succeeding order.
The inhabitants of Bakun belong to the Southern Kankana-ey group (Keesing, 1934) and share a closs affinity with Bontoc, as evidenced in several of their practices, ceremonies, architectural style and linguistic characteristics. The prevalence of these similarities is probably an off-shoot of the migration of people from Namiligan and Banao into Mankayan and Bakun before and up to the first half of the nineteenth century as part of an outward direction for the dispersal of population from the north. By the late eighteenth century these movements became even more pronounced when trade in “abel” blankets and contractual work in the construction of rice terraces became more attractive than the risk these people faced elsewhere on account of the “busol” menace.
Anthropologists usually describe the natives of Bakun as predominantly short, with Mongoloid characteristics and a Caucasoid strain of the Ainu society (Beyer, 1916, 1957; Cole, 1945).