The Herero practice double descent; that is, descent is reckoned both patrilineally and matrilineally. Every Herero is linked to a series of male ancestors through his or her father and to a series of females through his or her mother. Herero descent-ordered units consist of otuzo (sing. oruzo), or patrisibs, and omaanda (sing. eanda), or matrisibs, which are internally differentiated into patrilineages and matrilineages, respectively. (Patrisibs are classified into six phratries, and matrisibs into two.) In Otjiherero, the term for patrilineage and homestead is the same (onganda), as is the term for matrilineage and hut or household (ondjuo), which reinforces the view that Herero kin relations are connected to, and possibly derived from, coresidence.
Kinship Terminology. Herero kinship terminology is of the Iroquois, or bifurcate-merging, type.