Kin Groups and Descent. Kinship provides the base for the socioterritorial organization, even though the Roma themselves do not propagate any marked kinship ideology. They recognize a bilateral kindred ( slahta ), a pragmatic rather than cognitive category, which includes first cousins, beyond which the confines become somewhat imprecise. Affines are not considered kin. Even if kinship is bilateral, certain practices demonstrate a patrilineal ideology—for instance, their preference for forming local groups based on a nucleus of married brothers. There are no corporate groups; their genealogical memory is impaired by the censorship resulting from the fact that it is prohibited to mention the name of a dead relative and usually goes back no farther than the second ascending generation.
Kinship Terminology. The Roma have a Sudanese System with descriptive terms based on the six elementary kin terms denoting father, mother, son, daughter, brother, and sister. For the vocative, first names are always used, except when speaking to small children; in this case the terms for "mother" and "father" are used reciprocally and also as terms of affection toward the children in general.