Kin Groups and Descent. One important point differentiating the Montenegrins from the Serbs is the existence of kin and social groups larger than the lineage. Both clan ( bratstvo ) and tribe ( pleme ) were important economic and Social groups. The pleme was composed of several contiguous bratstvo. These larger groups have been important throughout Montenegrin political and economic history. Economically, they defined cooperative labor arrangements. Politically, they formed the basis of the alliances from which political and military power were generated. Fictive kin ties established through godfatherhood and blood brotherhood also figured prominently in kin relations.
Descent is patrilineal, and great emphasis is placed on the perpetuation of male lines.
Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is parallel to that used in Serbia. On the first ascending generation, terminology is bifurcate-collateral for males and lineal for females. In general, terms for consanguineal kin are more specific than for affines.