Dr. Albert S. Bacdayan is a retired professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, and currently the chairman of the Igorot Scholarship Program (ISP). His main research interest is in Cordillera Studies, particularly on religious acculturation, customary law, sexual equality, irrigation, and culture change. His best-known work, The Kalinga Peace Pact System in the Modern World (1967), has retained its relevance to Cordillera Studies across the years, as have his academic papers read or published in various journals such as Ethnology, Studies in Third World Societies, Saint Louis University Research Journal and Law and Society Review, Journal of Asian Studies, and American Anthropologist. His articles also appear in several books among which are as follows: Cross-Cultural Approaches (1967), Sexual Stratification (1977), Irrigation and Agricultural Development in Southeast Asia (1980), The Content of Culture: Constants and Variants (1989) Towards Understanding Peoples of the Cordillera, Vol. 1 (2001). More recently, he wrote the Foreword to The Making of the Igorot: Contours of Cordillera Consciousness (2004) and presented “Ritual for All Occasions: The Significance and Persistence of the ‘Senga’ in Northern Sagada” at the Saliksik-Kordilyera Lecture Series of UP Baguio (2013).
He finished his undergraduate studies at University of the Philippines (1956), his master’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (1960), and his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Cornell University (1967). He did fieldwork in Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines and in San Joaquin Valley, California. He taught at the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, Kentucky University, capping his academic career as director of graduate studies and head of the said department prior to his retirement in 2006.