Nuer domestic groups are based on the ideal of patrilateral descent. Kith should in some way be recognized as agnatic relatives. This principle is often confounded by the actual composition of local groups, but the ideal configuration persists across time. Nuer imagine that all adult males can claim ancestry to all other adult males, although in actuality neither domestic settlement patterns nor territorial segments conform to this ideal. Anthropologists continue to disagree about the significance of kinship and patrilineal descent in the organization of Nuer political and domestic life.