The highlands of the eastern and southern parts of Ilocos Norte are homes to a number of ethno-linguistic groups.
In Adams, Carasi and Dumalneg are people who call themselves Isnag, Isneg or Yapayao. They are culturally related to those along the other side of the northeastern border with Cagayan and Apayao. There are also pockets of Igorots from Ilocos Sur. Historically, there was a group known as the Adanes who inhabited the area around Bangui. They seem to have left no traces and may have intermarried with other communities who call themselves Tingguian or Itneg. Highland peoples value their traditional way of life and have selectively resisted inroads from the West and from other Filipinos as well. Certain communities are the northeast use the palok (adze), a type of hoe known in Philippines Paleolithic Sites.