Kin Groups and Descent. In Sagada, there are six major bilateral descent groups or "families," which are composed of all the descendants of certain prominent ancestors, founding fathers, and important living individuals, regardless of the line of descent. These groups are further subdivided into lesser groups that trace their ancestry back eight or ten generations to a male founding ancestor. These groups do not regulate marriage directly, but they do conduct certain ceremonial activities and hold corporate rights over various hillsides and trees, exercised through appointed "wardens." Corporate ownership does not extend to rights in rice land, possibly because the groups stem from an earlier period of shifting agriculture. The personal kindred is formally recognized; it includes the descendants of the eight pairs of great-grandparents and thus extends laterally to include all third cousins. These are the relatives responsible for revenge and wergild, and they also constitute the proper exogamous range.
Kinship Terminology. The Sagada terminological system is bilateral, is organized on the basis of generation, and has a wide but indefinite range.