Kin Groups and Descent. Descent is bilateral and the basic kin group is the nuclear family ( kulawarga ). Two kindredlike groups are recognized by the Javanese. One is the golongan, an informal bilateral group whose members usually reside in the same village and who participate together in various ceremonies and celebrations. The alur waris, the second kindredlike group, is a more formal unit involved in caring for the graves of ancestors.
Kinship Terminology. Four principles govern Javanese kinship terminology. First, the system is bilateral; that is, the kin terms are the same whether the link is the father or the mother. The second principle is generational; that is, all the members of each generation are verbally grouped. The third principle is seniority, a principle that subdivides each generation into junior and senior categories. Finally, the fourth principle is gender. There is a slight distinction made between nuclear-family relatives and others.